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

Managing Junior Leaders (those under 18 years old) 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.
  • Safe Ministry Training – All Junior Leaders should be current in their Safe ministry Training – just as adult leaders are expected to be.
    To clarify the training requirements for Junior Leaders, the Safe Ministry Board approved the following at its December 2016 meeting:

    • A junior leader is a person who has been appointed to a leadership role in children’s or youth ministry in a parish who is under 18 years of age.
    • In general, it is more appropriate for a Junior Leader to complete the Safe Ministry Junior Leader Training Module instead of the Essentials course as a part of their training for their role.
    • However, once a person who has been a junior leader attains 18 years of age they must complete the Essentials course unless it was previously completed.
    • At the discretion of the rector or his delegate, a junior leader who is 16 or 17 years old but has greater leadership responsibilities than a junior leader would usually have (e.g. has some teaching responsibilities or has the maturity to be included in leader to child ratios), then that leader should complete the Essentials course.

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

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