Research and experience clearly show that the best way to stop bullying is to invest more resources in preventive measures. Another important factor is collaboration, a whole community approach.
Our education origins from Friends, founded in Sweden in 1997 and now the country’s largest organization working to stop and prevent bullying.
Friends runs research projects related to bullying together with Universities and the international network. New knowledge and insights enables the methods, educations, and tools to continuously be developed and updated.
All children have the right to grow up in a safe, kind, and inclusive environment – and it’s our, us adults’, responsibility to create this environment.
Our main focus is to provide knowledge and tools, so that those working with children and youth are better equipped to work against bullying, harassment, and any form of negative treatment. Often it is about increasing knowledge about how and why bullying occurs, as well as how to prevent it.
We work with a whole organization approach, and a norm/critical approach permeates all our education.
We are deploying more of the Friends education in the U.S: The Friends 3-year Program as well as stand-alone training sessions, such as Cyberbullying training for Parents/Staff, Camp/Sports Club Leader training, Workplace Bullying, Inspirational Sessions, Workshops, etc.
Our long-term collaboration, the Friends 3-year program, always begins with a comprehensive survey of the climate and culture within the organization, including hot spots. This because each organization is unique and the work to prevent bullying should be tailored to the specific situation and needs. Some reasons why the Friends 3-year Program is so impactful and sustainable:
Identifies the unique climate and needs of each club
Surveys and qualitative follow-up on the results give a clear picture and deep understanding.
Changes/actions are anchored in the club’s reality
The suggestions come from the children and staff within the organization.
Creates consensus on how to work against bullying
All staff at the club are engaged.
The staff takes ownership for implemented changes
In the training sessions participants collaborate and come up with suggested actions to create a better environment.
Helps prioritize areas to focus on in the bullying prevention work
Identified improvement areas, the structure of the organization, and resources are all considered.
Measures results year over year
Surveys are repeated annually and show impact of implemented actions, and where [further] corrective measures may be needed.
Continues to evolve based on current research
Friends works closely with universities and researchers to ensure the program is modified as new research arise, and areas, like for example social media, change.