Overview of Policies & Procedures
Here we aim to give you a checklist of the paperwork that you need in place to work with young people.
By paperwork we mean the policies you need to work to, and the paperwork that we would advise you to use when working with the young people.
We do not have example policies on our site, but make reference to where you can obtain templates. If your church is already doing children and young people’s work you should already find most of the policies in place.
Child Protection Policy/Working with Vulnerable People
You may find that your church comes under a Diocese or area policy. You should therefore find that there is a dedicated person/officer who is responsible for overseeing that the policy is put into action and who would handle any disclosures or incidents. You need to make sure you know who this person is and their contact details.
It is likely that there is a requirement to have Child Protection training on a regular basis. You may need to arrange to attend a training session.
The policy should make clear what action is required if a disclosure is made to you. The process and action that you are required to carry out should be made entirely clear to you and who you need to pass information onto.
When working with children and young people you need to be clear about what the policy has to say about working one to one with a young person, and ratios of leaders to young people when working in and away from your building.
Health & Safety Policy
When looking at the Health and Safety policy you need to check if it covers aspects such as: transporting young people, taking the group away from the Church or building on trips and Residentials, Risk assessments, use of the building etc.
You may be asked for your Equal Opportunities policy if you are doing any work with another agency such as the local council or potential Funders may want you to have one in place.
A Grievance Policy may also be required by potential Funding bodies and other agencies. You may want to consider how you would deal with a complaint from a young person or parent and what procedures you would need to have in place.
It is important that your Volunteers and Junior Leaders are clear about their role and responsibilities. Within this you should consider issues like: use of social media and mobile phones and giving lifts to young people.
It is useful to ensure you have a copy of the Public Liability Insurance. This may be asked for by some Funders and other agencies.
You may need to check with the Insurer that activities and trips away from the church building are covered and if there are any activities that are not covered.
Be aware that, if you are transporting young people in your car, you are likely to need business cover on your car insurance.
Paperwork that You Need
On the site we do have some example paperwork that we are happy for you to use.
It is a good idea to have a form to gain the following information about a young person from parents:
- Parents contact details
- Age/Date of Birth
- School they attend
- Any health issues we should be aware of.
It is a good idea to have a line asking for parents to sign their consent to for young people to be in photographs.
It is important that you have a record of who was in attendance of a session. It is helpful to include volunteers and any other adults that were involved in the session. When applying for funding you may have to give information as to your numbers attending and the breakdown of male/female, age and ethnicity.
Session Recording Sheets
These should be a record of the session. It is good to include:
- A plan for the session.
- A description of what happened.
- A reflection of how you and your team thought the session went.
- Actions that have come from the session.
- Record of any incident (Bad behaviour, accident or damage to equipment or building)
You will need to have an accident book in the building where you hold your Youth sessions and this needs to be completed for any injuries that happen during a session. You may find there is also a procedure and paperwork for recording any incidents.
Before doing any activities you need to insure that you have completed a risk assessment. You may find there is already a procedure in place. These can look complicated and daunting, but essentially you should be looking to identify what are the potential hazards for doing your activity and how can you lessen the risks.
REFLECTION & LEARNING
Mark has over ten years of experience of running and managing community based youth projects. For the last ten years He has been based in Peterborough working with Churches Together in Central Peterborough and the Sparx Project in Dogsthorpe and Welland.
Mark is married to Madeline and is currently enjoying being dad to 7 year old triplets, working at YMCA Time Stop and returning to where my youth work began in helping with a new youth group at my church, Oundle Road Baptist Church.