The Centre for Safe Schools and Communities (CSSC) at the University of the Fraser Valley (UFV) is committed to research that is ethical and accessible to the public. It accomplishes this through:

  • Collaborative research processes
  • Consultation and support to research partners
  • Dissemination of findings
  • Facilitation in resource development

Community Engaged Research Initiatives:

Restorative Action Project for Safe Students, Safe Schools

The Centre is currently fulfilling a joint initiative in partnership with the Abbotsford Restorative Justice Agency and the Abbotsford School District on a multi-phased project. Student’s participation in restorative action processes and experiences related to bullying will be measured in middle schools using the newly developed Safe Students, Safe Schools Middle School Survey. Utilizing results from the survey, the Centre will work in collaboration with its partners to produce a resource intended to build capacity among adults to respond utilizing restorative practices, promote positive relations among students and staff, and to promote peaceful problem solving.


Children with Parents in Prison: A Best Practices Guide

Working in collaboration with faculty from UFV’s School of Social Work and School of Criminology and Criminal Justice, the CSSC is currently developing a series of recommendations and the development of a best practices model for responding to children who have parents in prison. The project involves a detailed, applied literature and scoping review to examine current tools and strategies used in BC and other jurisdictions in Canada and internationally to intervene and/or prevent the cycle of criminal justice contact for children of an incarcerated parent and reduce their risk of involvement with Child Protection Services. This review will be specific to the Fraser Valley with wider applicability for BC and Canada.


Prevention of Ecstasy Use

In partnership with the UFV Centre for Public Safety, Burnaby RCMP, Burnaby School District, and with funding from the BC Ministry of Justice, the Ecstasy Awareness Project was completed offering fact-based information for high school students and parents. Following consultation with students, ‘The Party’s Over’ brochure was created to compliment a high school drama production regarding the dangers of ecstasy use. A parallel guide for adults was also developed to promote drug use literacy among parents and others who work with youth.



Lower Mainland Safe School Network

The Centre’s Coordinator provides leadership to school districts through the coordination of the Lower Mainland Safe School Network. Each month district safe school coordinators across the Lower Mainland (Vancouver to Hope, including the Sunshine Coast) meet to identify and address learning needs, share knowledge of best practices, and provide collegial support. With the goal of creating safer, more socially responsible schools, ‘the Network’ is grateful to the following individuals and agencies who have been instrumental to the advancement of safe school policies and practices through the sharing of their time and expertise.

Promoting Mental Health in Schools….Connecting the Dots (all day session), Centre for Addictions Research of BC, BC Coroners Service, Ministry of Children and Family Development, Canadian Mental Health Association, The FORCE, First Nations Health Authority, BC Ministry of Education, BC School-Centred Mental Health Coalition.
(View a short video capturing the conference highlights)

Standardizing School Responses to Peer/Self Exploitation, Jay Pankratz, Principal, Yale Secondary, Kathryn Edwards, Assistant VP, Student Services, Abbotsford School District                                         

Youth resiliency and its application to gang prevention, Drs. Gira Bhatt and Roger Tweed, Kwantlen Polytechnic University

School law 101: Understanding the grey between school law and criminal law, Sari A. Wiens and Wendy Harris, Harris & Co; Kyle Friesen and Frank Paulicelli, E Division RCMP

Best practices in suicide prevention, intervention, and postvention (all day session), Dr. Jana Davidson, MD, FRCP(C), Clinical Associate Professor, Psychiatry, UBC; Dr.Cheryl Conant, Consultant, Ministry of Children and Family Development;Sue Dorey, Burnaby School District

The context of adolescent substance use , Dr. Martin Bouchard, Criminologist, Simon Fraser University; Morena Anamali, SFU Master’s student; Brenda LaFalce, Burnaby School District

Improving practices for the inclusion of transgender and gender variant youth in schools, Maria T. Foster, VSB Antiphomophobia & Diversity Mentor; Nicole (mother) and Cory (gender variant youth)

Promoting social and emotional learning in schools, Lynne Green (Outgoing CEO, Dali Lama Centre for Peace and Education); Christie Whitley (In-coming CEO, Dali Lama Centre for Peace and Education)


The CSSC serves in an advisory capacity for the Annual Making Connections Conference. This conference promotes Positive Behaviour Support (PBS), an evidence led practice that enhances academic achievement and social responsibility through a systems wide, data driven approach. Conference participants have the opportunity to hear and learn from some of the most recognized experts in the field as well as from local practitioners who will share their strategies on how to implement PBS successfully in schools. This year’s conference will be held November 4-6th 2013 in Richmond, BC.

The Centre was involved in UFV’s annual student-led conference. The 2013 Spring Conference, Build and Empower, was developed specifically for the 70 attending middle school students from the Abbotsford School District. Assisting on the day of the conference were 25 UFV students who provided mentorship to high school students after receiving two days of diversity and bullying prevention training from Abbotsford Community Services.


To find out how your organization can engage in community-based research initiatives, email or .

The Safe School Social Responsibility Survey for Secondary Students (SSSRS) was a collaborative project involving 13 BC School Districts, the provincial government, and UFV. The BC Ministry of Education provided funding in 2005 to promote evidence-informed practices in schools. This assisted with the development of the SSSRS in 2005 through consultation with educators and students from Vancouver, Burnaby, Richmond, and North Vancouver School Districts as well as academics from the University of the Fraser Valley and the University of British Columbia. The BC Ministry of Public Safety and Solicitor General (Crystal Meth Secretariat) provided funding for the administration of the survey for three consecutive years in more than 75 schools. The project was led by Dr. Terry Waterhouse (faculty member in the School of Criminology and Criminal Justice) and undertaken in partnership with the Centre for Safe Schools and Communities.

To learn more about this project, read a report here.

View a snapshot of research findings related to LGBTQ youth:
Adult Support in School: Does It Make a Difference for LGBTQ Youth?

View a PowerPoint presentation from the SSSRS Symposium:
Fostering Resilience: Developing Internal and External Assets

For more information, contact:

Annette Vogt, MA Amanda McCormick, MA
Coordinator Research Coordinator
604.504.7441 ext. 4222