Managing Junior Leaders (those under 18 years of age) 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 is under 18 years of age, and has been appointed to a leadership role in children’s or youth ministry in a parish.
- In general, it is more appropriate for a Junior Leader to complete the Safe Ministry Junior Leader course instead of the Safe Ministry 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. All leaders must complete the Essentials course prior to undertaking the Refresher course.
- At the discretion of the rector or his delegate, a Junior Leader who is 16 or 17 years of age who 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), should complete the Essentials course rather than the Junior Leader course.
Any further questions: please contact your local church Safe Ministry Representative, Safe Ministry Training Supportor the Safe Ministry Parish Consultant.