Safety Plans for Fictional Characters

A student safety plan lists the things which make the student feel comfortable or safe, and things which make the student feel uncomfortable or unsafe. The student safety plan also has a list of strategies which the student can use when they’re feeling uncomfortable or unsafe.

In one school where I worked, every student had a safety plan. It was my role to write the safety plans with, of course, the help of the student.

But writing a safety plan relies on the young person acknowledging their weaknesses. And, as you can imagine, many young people find this to be a challenging and confronting task.

To overcome this dilemma, I sometimes offered students a short story, and we would write a safety plan for a fictional character. In this way, the student still learnt the concepts of a safety plan (e.g. the safe zone, triggers, strategies etc.) but they were not confronted by having to talk about their own weaknesses. And often, the student’s responses gave me some insight into what their triggers might be, or what strategies might work for them.

The idea of the safety plan is based on the Zones of Regulation. To learn more, go to https://www.zonesofregulation.com/

Check out my resource page for a couple of short stories which you could use to help your students write a fictional character safety plan. Each story is approximately 150 words, written for ages 4-7 and includes questions and answer suggestions.