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tips for youth workersAUGUST 2015

PROVIDING SAFE PLACES

Creating safe places for young people is a priority of The Salvation Army.  We want families, parents and children to know that when they enter our doors or participate in one of our ministries the people who greet them, work with them and lead them have been screened and trained to provide a safe environment. 

Our Abuse Prevention Policy states “As a Christian organization, The Salvation Army is committed to upholding the standards of Christ, of love, care, protection and respect for the whole person in all relationships.  Recognizing that the Christian church is no stranger to abuse, and understanding the profound emotional and spiritual damage resulting from abuse, The Salvation Army Canada and Bermuda Territory will not tolerate or condone abuse within its operations”.

As volunteers, employees and officers we strongly encourage you to do everything in your power to create and maintain safe environments for children, youth and the vulnerable.  A new Abuse Prevention Policy Manual and Abuse Prevention Resource Manual have now been produced (find links below) to assist you in preparing to work with children, youth and the vulnerable and to provide you with resources and forms.

The “Territorial Abuse Policies” (which includes the manuals) are available on the home page of Lotus Notes.  Alternately the “Salvation Army Ministry Worker Screening Process” can be found under the Lotus Notes “Notice Board” then choose “Canada and Bermuda Territory” then look in “Information - Program”.  See red boxes in diagram below:


The Abuse Prevention Manuals and our Salvation Army Screening Process can also be found on the www.saMinistryResources.ca.  If you have questions about how to find or access this information feel free to email: program_helps@can.salvationarmy.org.

MINISTRY WORKER SCREENING PROCESS
 
"It is the goal of The Salvation Army to provide parents with the safest place to send their children.  Because parents perceive The Salvation Army as an organization that helps and cares for people, we need to live up to that perception when it comes to church and camp programs for their children."  (Nancy Turley, Territorial Abuse Advisor)  We need to recognize that abuse happens and that it has happened within The Salvation Army.  It is our job to work together to show families that "YOUR KIDS MATTER TO US" at The Salvation Army.
 
Protocol for working with children and youth:
The protection of children and youth within the care of The Salvation Army is top priority.  Every person working with children and youth within the Canada and Bermuda Territory must be thoroughly screened before any position can be held.  This screening procedure is designed to provide a safe and secure environment for the children and youth we reach.  The following steps and criteria should be kept in mind when considering someone for ministry to/with children and youth:
  • NEW!!  Read the Territorial Abuse Prevention Policy Manual and the Territorial Abuse Prevention Resource Manual.  Sign and submit to your ministry unit the “Acknowledgement of Abuse Prevention Policy Manual” found in the Territorial Abuse Prevention Resource Manual.
  • A Statement of Applicant to Work with Children and Youth must be completed and submitted to the corps officer or immediate supervisor  (Application to Work with Children and Youth (PDF) or find in the Territorial Abuse Prevention Resource Manual)
  • Statement of Applicant to Work with Children and Youth forms will be submitted to DHQ who will forward same to the THQ Personnel Dept. to be checked against The Salvation Army’s Child Abuse Registry
  • A Police Record Check is required for anyone working with children or youth or having direct access to children and youth
  • Police Record Checks must be done every three years by all youth workers.  If a worker transfers to another division, a new Police Record Check will be required
  • Those transferring into the Canada and Bermuda Territory must also complete a Statement of Applicant to Work with Children and Youth, a Police Record Check and have a letter of reference from their home territory/church
  • If the Police Record Check shows a past record, the individual must reveal to The Salvation Army the nature of the record to determine appropriateness of involvement in children and youth ministry.
  • View and complete the quiz of each of the three courses on The Salvation Army page of the Armatus Online Abuse Prevention Training.  The courses are entitled “I Am Sam”, “It Happened to Me”, and “Keeping Your Church Safe” AND the yearly “Abuse Prevention Refresher”.  Instructions on how to enroll and use this resource can be found downloaded here:  Armatus Online Abuse Training (PDF).
  • Reference checks for those seeking employment must be completed.  A record of contact with references must be made
  • Volunteers should only be permitted to work with children or youth after they have been involved in the church for a period of time (minimum of six months recommended).  Letter of reference may be sought.  This provides the church an opportunity to evaluate applicants and volunteers, and will repel persons seeking immediate access to children.
Failure to follow this procedure will jeopardize the ministry of The Salvation Army, lead to cancellation of our liability insurance and place young people at risk of devastating abuse.

 
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  1. Comment from Laura Hickman, May 5, 2014 12:15pm

    I recently discovered the "CHAT Prayer Plan" and thought it could be useful with older children.
    C- Cheer God on for who He is (what about God makes you glad? Example: God You are an awesome God)
    H- Humble Yourself (If Jesus were to tour your heart or journey with you for a day, what would he find? Asking forgiveness for times we've made mistakes)
    A- Appreciate what God has done (expressing thanks to God)
    T- Tell God your needs

    This can be found at: http://rachelwojo.com/prayer-journal-printables/