The Safe and Supportive Schools Project promotes safe and supportive environments (SSEs) to prevent HIV and other sexually transmitted infections among adolescents. Through customized training, technical assistance and consultation, the project increases the capacity of 19 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention-funded state education agencies to help school districts create safe and supportive school environments for all students and staff. Education agencies may seek specific assistance for groups of youth at disproportionate risk, including lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) youth, with an emphasis on young men who have sex with men, homeless youth and youth enrolled in alternative schools.


The APA Safe and Supportive Schools project offers the following services.

Professional Development Programs

The Safe and Supportive Schools Project also offers these professional development programs:

Respect Workshop and Toolbox to Promote Healthy LGBT Youth 

The Respect Workshop is designed to help school professionals assist LGBTQ students in coping with their distinctive challenges, promote safe school environments that nurture healthy and successful students, and motivate all students to prevent HIV, STIs and pregnancy. The Toolbox to Promote Healthy LGBT Youth includes supplemental resources to help school professionals support LGBTQ students.

CDC Staff Development Program on Fostering School Connectedness 

This CDC-DASH developed program is designed to introduce teachers and other school staff members to the concept of school connectedness, generate enthusiasm and interest in improving school connectedness and initiate implementation of a school connectedness action plan.

Promoting Parent Engagement in School Health Program

This CDC-DASH developed program will help school staff: generate enthusiasm and interest in improving parent engagement in school health; understand the essential aspects of parent engagement, including how to positively connect with parents, engage parents in meaningful school health activities and address challenges of engaging parents in school health activities; share information with other staff members not attending the program; and initiate steps to implement a parent engagement action plan.