HOPE Series: Safe, Equitable, Stable Environments

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June 2, 2021
HOPE Series: Social and Civic Engagement to Develop a Sense of Belonging and Connectedness
July 19, 2021

In this second part of our four-part series on The Four Building Blocks of HOPE, we are going to discuss the importance of safe, equitable, stable environments for children; how to promote these environments; and some resources to put HOPE into action.

Catch up on the entire series by following AAP-CA3’s blog: https://aapca3.org/category/blog/
Part 1: Supporting Relationships
Part 2: Environments
Part 3: Engagement
Part 4: Emotional Growth 

Environments

The second building block addresses safe, equitable, stable environments for living, playing and learning at home and in school. “Children who live, learn, and play in safe, stable, and equitable environments are less likely to experience poor mental and physical health as adults.

This essentially calls back to Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs and meeting people at their most basic needs. Here’s how we can encourage safe, equitable, and stable living and learning environments where kids spend most of their time: 

 

Home

We previously discussed how parents/caregivers are an essential relationship for children, and the same is true for a child’s environment. Here’s how you can ensure your home becomes a sanctuary for your child while giving you peace of mind:

  • Assess your home for safety issues including access to: medications, alcohol, guns, drugs, pools/bodies of water, etc.
  • Tasks: giving your little one chores and responsibilities gives them a sense of purpose and a feeling of accomplishment
  • Discuss: create opportunities to have open dialogue. Ask them about school, if they feel safe in places they spend time, ask them about relationships with their peers and teachers.

 

School/Learning Environment

Educators are an essential part of creating a learning environment where children feel accepted and that gives them a sense of purpose. Some ways educators can create a safe space:

  • Create a space for upstanders instead of bystanders
  • Provide materials that offer diverse representation
  • Connect students with vital, local resources and support to address food insecurity, housing issues, violence, etc. (please see a list of resources below)

 

Local Resources To Promote Positive Environments