One of the great joys of life in church is the opportunity to serve and volunteer for the sake of others. At times it can be hard, especially on a Sunday morning when your coffee machine just doesn’t seem to be working, but despite this it’s always valuable and encouraging.
And at times this opportunity also extends to those in our midst who aren’t adults. When it comes to people under 18 and the Safe Ministry Check system, it’s really down to the discretion of individual churches which determines how it’s used.
As usual, Safe Ministry Check doesn’t have requirements about how you use the training and checking system. Your insurer or church organisation might have some requirements, but with that being said, here are some ideas about how you might implement Safe Ministry Check for people in your church who are under 18.
One of the questions we’re asked relatively frequently at Safe Ministry Check is what to do about training for people under 18. As most people are aware, some of the content covered in any safe ministry training program might be new or confronting for those who are under 18 years of age. Depending on your church, the age of the person, and the parent/guardian of the person, there are some things you may want to consider.
Firstly, it’s always important to consider including the parents or guardians input into the decision around whether or not someone does training and how they complete it. You might think about suggesting parents complete the training first so they can determine whether it’s appropriate for their children, or you may ask parents to complete the training with their children so they can speak about anything that may be confronting.
Training is important for all people. It creates awareness and gives people the tools and resources to take action against abuse in an appropriate way. Having all members of your team trained is very important. The Safe Ministry Check system will require that all members of your organisation complete training to be considered cleared.
In most cases, it’s likely that the people who are being trained and screened in your church are people that you know relatively well, and this is particularly the case for those who are Under 18. They’re people who you have seen grow up in your church and know quite well. This is why screening can seem like a bit of an odd idea, especially when we know these people quite well.
But screening accomplishes a lot more than checking for information which we might already know. Screening has so many advantages for developing a culture of safety in our church. It shows everyone that safe ministry is a priority to the point of asking about people’s prior circumstances. Not only will doing screening show those in your church under 18 years of age that you take safety seriously, but it will also show them you take their safety seriously.
In most states, working with children checks are not required for people under 18, and as people under 18 years of age complete the leader training, they will only be asked for these details if they are required. Our system will use their date of birth to determine whether or not they are required to have a working with children check based on their state.
If you have further questions about how to best equip those in your church for safe ministry, no matter what their age, feel free to get in touch with us through out website.