Rationale and Objectives
The need for YSO is based on a number of interacting factors, including:
- youth's need for programs involving activities they are interested in (e.g., outdoor pursuits, sports, aquatics, travel);
- the need to increase physical activity levels of youth to combat obesity;
- a record of injury incidents involving youth engaged in physical activities and travel;
- the great physical, social and economic toll of overweight, obesity and preventable injuries;
- the impact and costs (financial and social) of legal liability actions and public inquiries related to preventable injuries;
- a general lack of current, well-articulated, integrated risk management policies, procedures and practices in schools;
- the need to address occupational health and safety of staff and volunteers;
- recognition of the autonomy and values of organizations;
- youths’ need for age-appropriate safety and self-reliance training; and
- a need for appropriate home support resources for parents/guardians.
YouthSafe Outdoors helps schools build the four Cs:
Capacity – consistent performance of risk management functions within and across schools.
Competence – personnel with the knowledge, skills and judgment they need to understand and fulfill their risk management related obligations.
Confidence – positive, affirmative, systems-based action to enhance organization and community peace of mind that activities are sufficiently safe.
Culture – leadership, modelling and instruction of students and families toward developing a strong culture of shared responsibility for safety and security.
Schools use YSO to enhance the risk management related effectiveness, efficiency, economy of effort and peace of mind of all partners in the equation of the safe school program.
Criteria for Successful Risk Management
Safe - avoiding catastrophic loss and managing other risks at an acceptable level.
Reasonable - proportional to the risks present; balancing benefits with risk exposure.
Attainable - within the human, financial, and equipment resources available.
Ethical - supporting informed decision making and appropriate contracting.
Sustainable - maintaining accessibility and availability of local leadership.