What is best practice with junior leaders (under 18 years old)?

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Managing Junior Leaders (those under 18 years of age) needs as much care as we give the process with adult leaders. Here are the main points:

  • Working with Children Check (WWCC) – Under 18 year olds cannot obtain a WWCC, so they and their parents/guardian must complete this declaration which must then be securely stored with other safe ministry documents. Note: A Junior Leader must have a verified WWCC as soon as they turn 18. This transition is helped by the fact that they can apply from 17 years 9 months of age.
  • Screening – We should be as vigilant with our screening of Junior Leaders as we are with adults (a high percentage of sexual abuse of children is peer-to-peer abuse). Therefore, every church should use a comprehensive screening policy such as found in  this document. Note that Junior Leaders aged 13-17 years of age must also complete the relevant Safe Ministry Check
  • Safe Ministry Training – The Safe Ministry To Children Ordinance 2020 now mandates Safe Ministry Training for all volunteer church workers who work with children – including those we call Junior Leaders.
    The Junior Leaders Course is the mandated course of training, However, at the discretion of the rector or his delegate, a Junior Leader who is 16 or 17 years of age who is regarded as sufficiently mature can complete the Essentials course rather than the Junior Leader course. Any decision to do this should be made in consultation with the Junior Leaders’ parents.

Any further questions: please contact your local church Safe Ministry Representative,  Safe Ministry Training Support or the Safe Ministry Parish Consultant.