This is a post I wrote last year that I feel an urgency to repost. In the recent months, we’ve all been reminded how important it is to keep in mind the safety of our students when they are in our care.
If your organization has not implemented safety procedures or policies ensuring the safety of the teens you serve, here are some tips. Any step forward is a great place to start. I’m going to focus on keeping your group safe from unwelcome strangers.
IT STARTS WITH YOUR TEAM
Background Check. Do a background check on every staff member and volunteer. You need to be confident that your teens are with safe adults. If your church or denomination does not provide background checks, call your local police department. They can help.
Youth Protection Policy. Protection policies may not be the best advertisement for volunteer recruitment however I’ve never met a good volunteer who was unwilling to read through our protection guidelines and commit to them. Provide policies and training to keep your team on the same page when it comes to the safety of students. Here are some sample policies you might include…
-I agree that I will not drive a student home alone
-I agree, when I meet a student for mentoring, it will be in a public place
-I understand that if student shares information of sexual or physical abuse I must report it.
Working with local law enforcement. Make sure your local police department knows when you have programming for young students. Give them your schedule and contact info. Tell them you want to be contacted if there is ever a dangerous person in the area. Continue Reading…