Abuse of Trust
All relationships between children, young people and their leaders are described as
‘relationships of trust’. The leader is someone in who the child or young person has placed a
degree of trust. In any relationship they are not of equal partners and there is a potential for
the trust to be abused by the leader who is in a position of power over the child or young
person. It is not appropriate for any leader to have a romantic or sexual relationship with
any child or young person under the age of eighteen.
|Age Range||Recommended ratios for indoor activities||Recommended ratios for outhoor activities|
|8-12 years||2 adults for up to 20 children (preferably one of each gender) with an extra adult for every 10 additional children||2 adults for up to 15 children (preferably one of each gender) with an extra
adult for every 8 additional children
|13 years and over||2 adults for up to 20 children (preferably one of each gender) with an extra adult for every 10 additional children||2 adults for up to 20 children (preferably one of
each gender) with an extra adult for every 10 additional children|
Working One to One
Most church youth work takes place within a group setting however there are times when
one to one work with a young person (secondary school age) is necessary. Anyone working in
this way on a regular basis must be formally recognised as someone who has the trust of the
church to work one to one with young people.
This worker must;
- Maintain a log sheet recording who, when & where workers and young people have met.
- Make notes after each meeting recording the essence of the conversation, advice given or
recommendations made and what agreed. All this information should be securely stored
and the young person informed they have a right to see any records kept on them.
- Be accountable to a minister, the Children & Family’s worker or a fellow youth worker for
- Maintain professional distance and set the boundaries for confidentiality.
- Choose an appropriate venue in a public place in view of another adult eg a coffee shop.
Parents should give permission for their child to be given transport and know when they are
to expect their child home. An adult travelling alone with a child or young person must ask
them to sit in the back.
Electronic communication (eg mobile phones, email, social networking sites etc) can be used
as a means of communication with children & young people by contracted workers however
the following principles need to be followed:
- Parents & carers, and children & young people themselves have the right to decide if a
worker is to have email addresses or mobile phone numbers etc.
- Direct electronic communication with primary school age children is inappropriate and
should be avoided.
- Electronic communication should be for information giving purposes only.
- Any communication with a young person in need or at a time of crisis must be logged stating
when they communicated and who was involved and text file saved if possible.
- Text language should be avoided when communicating by mobile phone so to avoid any
- Workers must not retain images of children & young people on their mobile phones.
- Leaders should be careful when sharing social media with young people. They should
consider having a social networking site solely for youth work (for young people and other
youth leaders) separate from their own personal site. All communications should be
transparent and open to scrutiny. Leaders need to be aware that children & young people
could view photos and other communications of other people linked to that site.
When children and young people in the care of church organisations there needs to be:
- Parental (or guardian) consent
- Information about who to contact in the case of emergency
- Key information that might impact on their wellbeing
- The standard church consent form also details specific areas (eg taking the child off premises
for activities, use of photographs etc). Any activity not listed on this form or any other used
must be specifically consented for.
Health & Safety
The church takes separate responsibility for the implementation of Health & Safety policies
to protect all users of the building. Leaders need to be aware of any Health & Safety risks
attached to their activity and may need to complete a risk assessment to identify potential
hazards, to assess risk and plan how to control or minimise any risk.