APOSTOLIC FAITH CHURCH
The “two adult rule” is a basic safety requirement that is non-negotiable, according to what we have learned from our insurance provider. Here are some suggestions that may help you meet that requirement.
They do not need to repeat the training this year, as the certification for the online training is valid for two years. However, they will need to repeat the training next year as our insurance provider recommends that this training be repeated every two years. Even if nothing in the training has substantially changed, it is important that workers refresh their memories regarding these basics of ensuring the safety of the young people in our care.
We sympathize with the challenge this presents, but because of liability issues, we must insist that all children who are being transported in a church vehicle are in a secure seatbelt. It’s the law! It is part of the van attendant’s responsibility to help by monitoring this situation. We recommend that drivers begin to “retrain” any recalcitrant riders by asking the attendant to alert them whenever a child neglects to strap in after getting on the van. They should just calmly state that they are not permitted to put the van in motion until everyone is safely buckled. They should not start the van until the child complies.
If a passenger unbuckles when the van is in motion, the attendant should inform the driver so he can pull to the side of the road and wait until the child buckles up. In most cases, it likely will not take more than a few times of sitting on a motionless van for the children to realize that we are serious about not proceeding until everyone is safely secured according to the law.
If a child continues to resist this requirement after several attempts to encourage compliance, the driver should discuss the matter with the Sunday school superintendent, who will address the matter with the parents. If that does not bring cooperation, we ultimately will need to ask the child/parent to find another way to come to Sunday school. We simply cannot accept the liability of having unbelted children on our vans.
We ask that each church always have the last two years of records on hand. Afterwards, these records should be sent to headquarters for archival.
In Portland, we have decided to bind the Volunteer Handbooks for workers in a report cover with a clear poly front cover and Tang fasteners. There is a large slash pocket on inside back panel which could hold the workers’ Procedure Guidelines. Here is a link to that product: http://www.officesupply.com/office-supplies/binders-accessories/binder-accessories/standard-report-covers/smead-clear-front-poly-report-cover-with-tang-fasteners-black-pack/p360544.html?q=SMD86010
A worker is anyone who has been asked to participate and/or perform a responsibility as a representative of the Apostolic Faith organization. Workers undergo a careful screening and selection process to ensure that they are spiritually qualified and otherwise suited for participation in church work. They are required to read the Volunteer Handbook and the Procedures Guidelines for the area where they will serve, and to fill in a Worker Application form.
Some examples may help clarify. A person who does a ten-minute object lesson for the congregation once every three months would be considered a worker, while a handyman hired by the church to mow the church lawn would not be considered a worker. A person who is asked to help with cleaning the church or serving at a church fellowship dinner would be a worker (even though he/she participates only occasionally) but the person hired to do occasional maintenance on a church vehicle would not be a worker.
If the youth event in the home is church-sponsored, permission slips would be needed—for example, if a Sunday school teacher invited the students in her Sunday school class to her home. If a church worker informally invited a group of young people over for pizza but it was a personal invitation and not under the auspices of the church, then no permission slip would be required. In that case, any legal or liability issues that might arise would be the responsibility of the adult worker/homeowner rather than the church.
Our general guideline is that if an event is held on church premises (thus is similar to a public meeting where all are invited) a permission slip is not required. If a church-sponsored event is held off site, in an environment that is not church controlled, permission slips would be required. The exception would be Boys/Girls Clubs which typically are held on church premises but still require a permission slip for participation.
We need to obtain the Social Security number for all workers because that number must be submitted in order to do a background check. In addition, the information we gather must be uniform. Our successors must be able to declare in a court of law two decades from now that we implemented a consistent policy showing due diligence, which includes obtaining the same information from everyone who participates in our work.
We suggest that workers submit their application in a sealed envelope directly to the pastor or his/her appointee. Pastors have been instructed to keep all documents with Social Security numbers in a locked file, with access granted only by him.
We have limited workers to help man our Sunday school van routes . . .
We have several young people that filled out a Worker Application form last year, is it necessary . . .
Many of our workers took the online child/youth safety training last summer . . .
We find it an ongoing challenge to make sure children who ride on our Sunday school vans . . .
How long do we keep attendance records for youth events?
Pastors have been instructed to make copies of the Volunteer Handbook and distribute them to all of the workers in their local church. Even if the copies are printed on both sides of the sheet, there are more than twenty pages and that number of sheets may not staple together successfully. Do you have a recommendation on how those handbooks should be bound?
What is a worker? Is a person who does a ten-minute object lesson once every three months a worker who needs to fill out a form? Is a musician or soloist who has no contact with minors a worker?
If a young family invites some of the church youth group to their home, do the young people need to have permission slips?
I notice that the Workers Application form requires a Social Security number. Is it necessary for me to provide this information, and if so, how can I be sure that number will be kept secure?
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