Safe Spaces for Youth Pastoral Care

Because of the power disparities and the potential for boundary violation in pastoral care conversations between adults and youth, we recommend adults engage in these recommended practices to create a supportive, appropriately confidential, and safer space for youth.

Choose a space for pastoral care and conversation that is easily observable by others. If it's in a minister's study or religious educator's office, the door should have a window and/or be ajar. There should be someone else working nearby in the building, such as a church administrator who understands the importance of maintaining the privacy of the young person visiting as well as the safety of the space. A pastoral conversation could take place at a crowded coffee shop or mall, where the participants (especially the adult) are visible to others and the noise provides privacy.

Next Recommended Practice: Policies for Overnight Events