KidCheck Secure Children's Check-In Shares Safety Guidelines for Youth Volunteers

Recruiting safe, energetic, committed, and engaged volunteers can be daunting. This is why some leaders prefer building volunteer teams for children’s ministry from within their organizations. You can save time and resources by attracting younger attendees already participating in middle and high school ministries.

However, as you enlist new volunteers from within, how do you continue to prioritize child protection and adhere to your current comprehensive screening policies within a younger recruitment pool?

Here are ten safety guidelines shared by various organizations committed to keeping safety a priority and volunteer standards high.

  1. Middle school helpers are some of the best volunteers. They fill out a form requiring 2-3 references (not family) to vouch for their character and experience. After approval, they can be class helpers with toddler and pre-K classes or in the background for events like VBS, Kid’s Academy, or day camp.
  2. Every youth volunteer must be five years older than the oldest kid in the class. For example, a twelve-year-old can only serve as a helper with children under seven years.
  3. Any youth helper under fifteen needs to have parental permission and a recommendation. They are never in charge of a room and must always be partnered with a screened adult.
  4. All youth volunteers serve under the supervision of a team of adult volunteers, and we have high expectations for them.
  5. Younger volunteers are considered a third helper in large groups, not a second adult/volunteer. They must provide references, complete training, and are never left alone with kids.
  6. Sixth graders and up can serve as helpers in a room with two fully screened adults.
  7. Middle schoolers must serve with a parent. For high schoolers, if a parent is on-site volunteering, they can partner with an adult other than a parent.
  8. Preteens who actively serve have been a game-changer. The response has been huge and positive. They even challenge their parents to serve.
  9. Teens are encouraged to serve, but always with an adult. They are never alone.
  10. Our policy is that ninth graders and those interested in volunteering should complete an interview. This doesn’t exclude teens but allows us to say no if it’s not a good fit. Also, they must always serve with an adult.

These safety strategies demonstrate that student-led mentoring is an excellent way to develop future volunteers without compromising child safety. Does your organization have policies that address working with younger volunteers? Please share your thoughts and suggestions in the comments.

Click here to learn more about the benefits of using secure children’s and youth check-in to help manage your children’s area, keep families smiling, and improve safety. You can also subscribe to the KidCheck blog or find us on YouTubeTwitterFacebookPinterest, and Instagram.

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