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Safety tips for students serving in the community

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Safety is everyone’s responsibility. SL staff developed safety standards based on standards from Nursing, social work, and standards from other SL programs. Faculty and community partners are asked to review this safety information with students.


  • Ask your agency supervisor for tips on staying safe
  • Tell someone your destination and your tentative return time
  • Ask for help from your supervisor or another staff member when in doubt
  • Request an alternate service site if you feel uncomfortable or unsafe with your current site

Plan Ahead

  • Plan for “what if’s” (what if car breaks down, what if I can’t find clients or agency address, etc.)
  • Wear appropriate, modest, easy-to-move in attire, consistent with agency policy. Wear sturdy shoes
  • Don’t engage in activities beyond the scope of your class or your student/agency agreement
  • Plan to go in pairs if visiting people in private homes


  • Drive carefully; the university is not liable for risks involved in students getting to and from their service sites.
  • Do not give a client a ride in a personal vehicle. Note: driving cannot be a requirement of your service.

Children Serving With You

  • If you would like to take your children with you, make sure you get prior permission from the agency.
    NOTE: BSU liability insurance does not cover students’ children. For that reason, BSU recommends you do not take your children with you.


  • ONCE AGAIN: Even if asked, don’t give a client a ride in a personal vehicle.
  • DON’T give or loan clients money or other personal belongings.
  • DON’T share too much personal information (phone number, address, etc)
  • DON’T tolerate talk or behavior of a sexual nature. If you feel harassed, tell your supervisor or instructor.
  • DON’T engage in any type of business with clients during the term of your service
  • DON’T enter into a personal relationship with a client during the term of your service.

Home Visits

  • Get information about the client, cultural norms, and their situation prior to the home visit
  • ONCE AGAIN: Go in pairs when possible
  • Try not to be alone with clients without adequate supervision
  • Consider meeting at a neutral place (at the agency or at a public building) or going with another student
  • Keep your agency informed of your plans and itinerary and check in by phone on a prearranged schedule.
  • Trust your intuition; if something does not feel right, leave. Talk to your agency supervisor about your concerns and ask to switch clients


Protect yourself: carry your own health insurance (BSU student health insurance is a good option).

** If you are injured at the agency, you have the right to file a Workers’ Compensation claim against the agency or Boise State University. Agencies working with Service-Learning students are required to carry liability insurance to cover Service-Learning students. Some exceptions apply; contact the Service-Learning Director at 426-2380 for further information.

If Something Happens:

  • If it is a life threatening injury, call 911 or get transported to the nearest emergency room.
  • If it is not life threatening, follow-up with St. Luke’s Occupational Health Clinic.
  • As soon as possible, contact the instructor, the agency supervisor, and the Service-Learning Director at 426-2380. The Service-Learning Director will complete accident forms and work with Risk Management.