Keeping in regular communication with the parents and caregivers of the young people that participate in your youth programme is a must. Regular emails, sending out detailed term planners, a facebook group, your church website, conversations at church or before/after your youth gatherings are just some of the ways that will keep them in the loop, as well as ensuring their young person’s safety while under your supervision.
Make sure you keep parents/caregivers well informed about your general programme, including:
- Contact details of leaders
- Cost, location and transport details (when appropriate)
- Start and finishing times/dates
- How they can contribute or assist
- Rules and consequences
Consider your policy around young people leaving a programme without the knowledge of their caregiver(s).
Caregivers should be informed in any case of concern. This applies to accidents, first aid or medical treatment, illness, or repeatedly unacceptable behaviour.
Caregiver consent should be obtained for all off-site activities, overnight programmes, sensitive topics, or any potentially dangerous activities. See Auckland Anglican Youth Ministries sample travel permission slip.
Relevant personal details should be collected from the young person and their caregiver(s) as soon as possible, such as:
- Emergency contact details
- Any medical condition which might affect the young person at any time
- Any medication needs
- Any special dietary needs
Adapted from ‘Keeping Them Safe’, Diocese of Christchurch