Looking for a new youth leader? Here are the four things you need to check before your new volunteer jumps on board…
Note: This checklist is intended as a guide. Your Diocese will have their own Recruitment Policy for Volunteers. Check your diocesan website, or contact your Diocesan Manager or Diocesan Youth Staff member.
1. Check their suitability
Meet with them to outline the role and assess their suitability for it – including their motivation for working with young people and their attitude towards young people. You’re looking for a positive regard for youth, a servant heart, integrity and character.
2. Hear from Referees
Get a verbal or written reference from at least two appropriate people who can attest to the suggested volunteers’s character and their suitability to work with young people. If the reference is not written, record notes from your conversation.
3. Conduct a Police Safety Check
Under the Vulnerable Children Act Part 3 (which came into force on 1 July 2015), you must confirm the identity, declaration of any ‘Specified Offences’, and conduct a Risk Assessment of anyone working with young people (aged 0-16). A police check is part of that risk assessment. Your Diocese may be an approved agency for police vetting.
Note: A record does not necessarily preclude an appointment unless the offending has been violent or sexual in nature, or if there is ongoing concern with honesty, for example. Parish/ministry units should consider the type of offending, when the offending took place, rehabilitation of the offender etc.
4. Communicate your Expectations
Give written or verbal information about the task and expectations to each person concerned. This could take the form of a job description or a covenant. Include things such as: the time that would be involved, expected attendance at training meetings, how to be reimbursed for materials, who will provide backup and support, whom you should ring if you are sick or unexpectedly unavailable.
Adapted from the ABC Guide to Safety (2004)