Youth policies & guidelines
(Risk assessments, recruitment docs & incident forms)
To raise up a growing community of young people being transformed through the Gospel.
Here you will find training documents & videos that seek to support you as you continue to grow as a leader ever-increasingly like Jesus.
Youth Policies & Guidelines
Here you’ll find valueable policies & guidelines for the conduct of our youth leaders (& teams).
PBC Youth policies
Policy - Reporting child safety concerns
As a member of our youth leadership team, you legally hold a duty of care responsibility. This means that you are responsible to report any concerns that you have for the safety of the young people in our care. There are many possible reasons for concern and all of them should be dealt with in a timely and respectful manner.
What is the process for reporting my concerns?
- Speak with Ben Wilson immediately. (Speak with Kathy Bates if your concern is in regards to Ben’s conduct)
- Take notes of your concerns & the reasons for that concern.
- Don’t investifate the young person or their family
If in doubt, speak with Ben Wilson or Kathy Bates. They will know how to respond or where to seek appropriate advice.
Policy - Photography & videography at PBC Youth
As the youth leadership team of Parramatta Baptist Church, we believe all photography and videography content that is captured at our programs must respect the privacy of all people.
Consent to photography
Consent to photography is assumed in the participation of PBC Youth events. This means that all young people & adults who are present at youth events consent to our leadership teams taking photos of them. These photos will be stored by and may be used by the youth ministry and wider church in official publications across many digital and physical platforms.
Photography consent, although addumes, can be refused at any time. Parents, youth and leaders can do so by contacting a youth pastor or when completing an annual information form.
Where the consent of a young person is refused, any previously published content that contained this person will be removed at our soonest convenienve.
Removal of consent refers solely to the publication of content. Photos and videos will be take of all people present at programs and will be later vetted to omit any who have refused consent.
Storage of photography
Photos taken during youth programs are stored securely by relevant members of the youth leadership team. Content containing youth will not be kept by individual youth leaders and will be made accessible to the youth pastor upon request.
Photos & videos capture by youth
Young people are permitted to capture content whilst at youth programs and they have complete control over how this content is used. We will actively seek the immediate removal and deletion of any content (whether made public or not) that we feel is derogatory, degrading or other inappropriate.
Policy - Safe ministry for online youth programs
Our heart is that PBC Youth is a safe space for all young people and their leaders. The following document outlines the protocols in place to best ensure the safety of all people who attend an online expression of our PBC Youth programs.
Completed permission forms must be provided by parents on behalf of every child present. This process ensures:
- Parents are aware of their child’s online engagement
- Parents take responsibility for upholding the requirements youth must fulfil to join meetings. These requirements include:
- Real names are displayed on entry
- Videos are switched on with faces visible (to confirm identity)
- Appropriate clothing is always worn
- No inappropriate content will be shared via chat features, links, images, videos, background or in conversation.
- Young people join from a location known to their parents
Online host permissions must always remain with leaders for the duration of youth online meetings. All leaders present will have host or co-host permissions. This process ensures:
- Leaders are capable of recording sessions (see below)
- Leaders can maintain the safety of young people through:
- Muting participants
- Removing people from meetings
- Admitting youth from the digital waiting room
- Limiting access to the ‘chat’ function (limit inappropriate messages or respond appropriately)
All youth online meetings are recorded, and these recordings are stored securely and only accessible to relevant safe ministry leaders of PBC. This process ensures:
- Accountability for all leaders when we are unable to guarantee multiple leaders will be present
- Attendance records are accurate (can be historically corroborated if needed)
- Young people understand these meetings don’t guarantee anonymity and their actions will have appropriate repercussions
Guidelines for leaders
The following guidelines shape good practice for safe online ministry:
Waiting rooms: are mandatory for all meetings.
Avoiding 1-on-1 time: Leaders will not be alone with a single young person. This means that:
- At the beginning of meetings – youth are only admitted when 2 or more young people are waiting in the waiting room.
- During the meeting – leaders will avoid being in breakout rooms alone with young people. When unavoidable, extra stress is placed on recording this interaction.
- At the close of meetings – leaders select “End meeting for all” while at least 2 youth are present.
Screen sharing permissions: Should be limited to leaders to avoid accidental screen sharing or sharing of inappropriate content by young people.
Private messages: Leaders should opt to message everyone in the meeting rather than private messages where possible. Chats will be recorded by zoom; therefore leaders should ensure recording is in progress when individually messaging young people.
Guidelines for appropriate conduct
Guidelines - Meeting youth offsite (1-on-1 & Small groups)
Relationships are the glue to effective disciple-making. Catching up with young people or groups of youth can provide a catalytic environment for relational connection and pastoral care. The following outlines the process for initiating and facilitating an offiste meet up with young people. Note that different processes will be appropriate for different aged youth. If you have questions please speak directly with Ben Wilson or Ben Sterland.
|Process||Year 7-9||Year 10-12||Over 18|
|1. Invite to meeting||Contact parents of young people||Invite young person but parents must be informed||Contact young person|
|2. 1-on-1?||1-on-1 catch ups are not appropriate. Meet in groups of 2 or more.||1-on-1 catch ups are appropriate when parents are aware||1-on-1 catch ups|
|3. Safety considerations||Always meet in a public space.||Always meet in a public space.||Aim to meet in public spaces (especially if meeting with another gender youth)|
|4. Notify ministry leader||Send the meeting details to your ministry leader before meeting with young people.||< Same||< Same (where possible)|
Guidelines - Organising small group socials (during programs)
Small group socials occur throughout the course of organised programs and are significant opportunities for growing relational connections with young people. The following guidelines provide a structure & process for oraganising small group socials.
- Decide on an activity (in collaboration with youth)
- Book the event (on behalf of the youth ministry)
- Communicate information to your ministry leader: Activity, time, date (if applicable), what to bring etc.
- Invite young people to attend (or the ministry leader may do this)
- Facilitate the small group social
- Record the names of young people in attendance & communicate this to your ministry leader
- Supervision – How many young people are expected? Will there be enough suitably aged & trained leaders present to supervise everyone?
- Safety – What are the risks involved with this activity? What can you do to reduce the risks?
- Create safe sapces – How will you ensure you are never alone with a single young person?
- Emergency – How will you access first aid if neccessary? Will you have access to emergency contact numbers?
If you have any questions or concerns in this process, speak to your ministry leader.
Guidelines - Electronic communication with youth
We acknowledge the use of elctronic media for communication is part of everyday life, however we need to be mindful of the position of trust and power we are in as leaders.
- Leaders must not transmit, retrieve, or store any communication that is: discriminatory or harassing, derogatory, obscene, sexually explicit, or pornographic, defamatory, threatening, for any pupose that is illegal or contrary to the code of conduct.
- Do not send any electronic communications that attempts to hide your identity or represent the sender as someone else.
- When contacting a child/young person by phone, call on their home phone if possible.
- Mobile phone use should be kept to a minimum, not used for long calls, not used for pastoral care.
- If the child/young person initiates a mobile phone call which will require a long conversation, arrange to have
conversation in person in a public location at another time.
- As far as it is practical, email children and young people in groups, rather than as individuals.
- Avoid having deep conversations regarding personal issues over email. Arrange to have these conversations in person
in a public location at another time.
- As far as possible, save all emails to and from children/young people in a folder.
- Avoid having long conversations via SMS. If a longer conversation begins, arrange to meet in person in a public location
at another time.
- Avoid language that conveys emotional content, such as “You are loved.”
Social Networks (e.g. Facebook, etc)
- As far as it is practical, message children and young people in groups, rather than as individuals. Keep or “archive”
messages, rather than deleting messages with young people.
- Writing on “walls” should only be general in nature. E.g. “Hey, hope you’re having a good week, cya Sunday” or other
light conversations. Never give out details of children/young people on “walls” e.g. name of school, email address,
home address, phone numbers, etc.
Video calls (e.g. Zoom, Skype, facetime etc.)
- Video calls (Zoom, facetime etc.) should not be used to communicate with individual children/young people.
- If you communicate via video calls, the ministry leader must be aware before the call takes place (appropriate steps
may be taken to reduce risk in these environments).
Photography (including on phones)
- All children/young people must be appropriately dressed when photographed.
- Ensure you have approval of your ministry leader before publishing videos or photos. Never identify the person/s in
published content without their explicit permission.
- Ensure all photos/videos captured at gatherings are accessible to ministry leaders upon request.
Here you’ll find key documents related to programs, leadership & safety.
Here you will find the current risk assessments for each of our youth programs. Click on each program to access the relevant assessment:
Here you will find the documents and training required of all people who begin serving as PBC youth leaders:
Incident Report Forms
These IRFs are completed in the event of injuries sustained during youth programs. This form ensure we record information concerning the incident. The ministry leader is responsible for completing this form, however as a leader you may be involved in it’s completion (especially if you were a witness).