Announcing the release of the new Handbook on Risk Management & Safety When Working with Middle & High School Youth.
This handbook and the new Information & Resource Blog is replacing the former Youth Ministry Handbook. This revised handbook focuses solely on Risk Management and Safety concerns for Middle and High School Youth Ministry. All the articles and sections in the former handbook that were related to best practices and standards have been removed and will later re-appear (after being freshened up) in the new Information & Resource Blog of the ministry leader section of the OYYACM website. The new Resource Blog will be written for all Youth, Young Adult, or Campus Ministry Leaders, not just for Youth Ministry.
The format of the new handbook is much shorter and more digestible for this pertinent information. It is important for every Middle and High Youth Ministry Leader to be familiar with the content of the Handbook on Risk Management and Safety. If you were already familiar with the former Youth Ministry Handbook, the list below highlights the key changes and updates. Since the legacy Youth Ministry Handbook still contains relevant information (among some outdated information) the former handbook is still available for download.
Key Changes & Additions to this Handbook from the former Youth Ministry Handbook:
- Removed all articles not related to Risk Management and Safety.
- General refining of language, grammatical corrections, and removal of names of people in specific job positions and replaced them with just their job titles.
- Added information about Permission Click as a reviewed and approved online permission form collection tool. (Pg. 8 & 11)
- Explicitly explained that on-site youth programs open to the public do not necessarily require an annual enrollment form or permission form to attend. Also, explained that guest of active program participants may attend periodically without an annual enrollment form, but it is prudent to collect the information when possible. (Pg. 8)
- Further explaining the importance of defining the supervision start and end times for programs on enrollment forms, and to base these times on age and circumstances. An example is given. (Pg. 9)
- Replaced the original detailed recommendation that every youth carry a copy of permission forms in water wallets during off-site events, with are more general expectation that a participants permission forms is to be readily accessible throughout an event at all times. (This opens up creative opportunity for ministry leaders to consider how to keep forms always accessible, but leaves water wallet credentials as one possible solution and not the only solution). (Pg. 11)
- Defined that when taking minors on a trip off-site, a trip roster and itinerary with parent contact information should be left at the parish or with an emergency contact as part of the emergency crisis plan. (Pg. 12)
- Updated the information that explains that business managers can access the Agiloft contract tool to see what vendors (camps, charter buses, etc) other parishes have successfully negotiated contracts with (there is not an approved vendors list). (Pg. 15)
- Removes the detailed expectation that youth are not allowed to switch buses while traveling on events, with a more general expectation that bus travel list and records are accurately maintained to ensure ministry leaders know who is on what bus at all times. (Pg. 15)
- Explains that Code of Conduct forms can be built into the travel form and don’t have to be a second form. (Pg. 17 & 34)
- Provided some examples of how parishes can maintain a Safe Environment on driving caravans to/from youth ministry events. (Pg. 19)
- Offers exceptions to families and married couples on the expectation that genders and youth/adult have separate overnight accommodations. (Pg. 20)
- Reminds people to follow the Visiting Speaker Policy and the NPBO Policies, but removes the incorrect statement that said all Visiting Speakers must be from an NPBO. (Pg. 25)
- Updated definitions of forms available – removed the use of forms that are no longer used (RCYC, NCYC). (Pg. 34)
- Added process to report abuse and ethics violations. (Pg. 35)
- Updated who to contact for additional resources (Pg. 36)
Contact the Office of Youth, Young Adult, and Campus Ministries for questions.