North Pacific Yearly Meeting

of the Religious Society of Friends (QUAKERS)

NPYM Youth Safety Policy

Approved by NPYM on July 15, 2011

Introduction

NPYM is committed to making sure that children and youth are safe while participating in NPYM-sponsored child/youth events. These policies and guidelines are meant to provide a structure for parents and youth care workers to help ensure child and youth safety.

Definitions

NPYM-sponsored child and youth activities can be grouped into two categories:

  1. The Children’s Program and babysitting at Annual Session: The Children’s Program includes nursery care for infants and toddlers, and teacher-led classes for children in grades pre-K through 8th grade, at scheduled day and evening times during Annual Session (occurs over a 4-5 day period once a year); and babysitting for children which happens during times at Annual Session when there is no Children’s Program and a need for childcare so parents can attend committee meetings, etc. The Children’s Program is overseen by the CP Coordinator, who is nominated and approved through NPYM’s nominating process; babysitters are overseen by NPYM’s M&O committee.

  1. Overnight events for Central Friends (CF) and Junior Friends (JF): Central Friends are middle schoolers (grades 6th through 8th, ages 11-13); Junior Friends are high school aged youth (grades 9th through 12th, ages 14-18). Overnight events include:

    1. The JF program during Annual Session, where JF have their own separate program and separate floor in one of the dorms (4-5 days)

    2. JF camp held in conjunction with Annual Session (4-5 days)

    3. JF ski weekend, held on a winter weekend (2-3 days)

    4. Occasional JF service trips (e.g., Mexico; Jamaica) (5-7 days)

    5. Occasional CF camp held in conjunction with Annual Session (4-5 days)

JF events are led by at least 2, and no more than 4, JF Advisors. In addition, JF and CF overnight events may be led or assisted by “Friendly Adult Presences” (FAPs). JF Advisors are adults who are initially selected by the Junior Friends, and who are subsequently screened, nominated and approved through NPYM’s nominating process. Friendly Adult Presences (FAPs) are adults who have been screened and approved to assist with or lead a CF or JF event.

NPYM Child and Youth Safety Policy

  1. Screening

    1. Child and youth workers should be at least 17 years old, and at least 4 years older than the group of youth they are working with.

    2. JF and CF Advisors and FAPs should be active in a Monthly Meeting, Preparative Meeting or Worship Group for at least 6 months prior to consideration for approval or prior to the event. This will be verified with MM/WG clerk.
    3. Child and youth care workers, except walk-in volunteers, will be subject to a criminal background check
  1. Prior to each event, or when they are approved, child and youth care workers are provided a job description as well as clearly defined responsibilities and expectations as laid out in the NPYM Youth Safety Guidelines.

  1. Safeguards are provided through careful monitoring and staffing. Classrooms and gathering spaces for children and youth are set up according to NPYM youth safety guidelines. Where a guideline cannot be complied with in specific situations, there should be documentation about how safety concerns will be addressed.

  1. Teen programs remain separate, with age-appropriate activities. Central Friends (middle school) camp and Annual Session program should be only for children entering 6th grade through the summer after 8th grade; Junior Friends (high school) programs should be only for youth entering 9th grade, through the summer after 12th grade. Young Adult Friends (YAF, adults who have completed high school, generally age 18 through 35) are expected to participate with the Young Adult Friends group or with other adults.

NPYM Youth Safety Guidelines

BEFORE A CHILD/YOUTH CAN PARTICIPATE

  1. Each child must have a signed NPYM medical release form, which must be given to the teacher/leader before the child can be left in the care of the teacher/leader. The medical release form includes a phone number for the parent, guardian or sponsor, which can be used during the session to contact the parent, guardian or sponsor if needed. These forms can be filled out in advance of the event and sent to the registrar; or may be filled out upon arrival. The original form will remain in the classroom/gathering area, or carried by the adults in charge during an outing. A copy of each medical release form should be kept in the NPYM office if possible.

IN THE CLASSROOM/GATHERING AREA

  1. At least 2 adults will be present in each classroom during scheduled youth program times. Where it is not possible to have 2 adults, a roamer should check in frequently.

  1. At each overnight JF or CF event, at least one of the adult leaders needs to be a woman, and at least one needs to be a man.

  1. Nursery care and Children’s Program classrooms should be located in close proximity to each other. At all costs, avoid isolated classrooms away from adult traffic or other classrooms.

  1. Walk-in volunteers are welcome and greatly appreciated in NPYM children and youth programs at Annual Session; however, youth and child care workers who have not been approved through the official NPYM screening process, including “walk-in” volunteers, will be under the supervision of approved workers.

  1. Minimum ratios of adults to children are as follows.

Nursery (infants and toddlers) 1:4

Children’s Program/CF (age 4 through 8th grade) 1:8

High school 1:10

  1. Classroom/gathering area doors should be left open at all times during a scheduled youth event (unless the door has a large window).

  1. The teacher/leader in charge of each class or youth group must ensure that there is a signed medical release form in the classroom or gathering area before a child/youth may be left there without parent, guardian, or sponsor. (does not apply to nursery)

  1. (Nursery and Children’s Program) The teacher/leader in charge of each class must have a check-in sheet, and must ensure that each child is checked in and checked out by a responsible adult for each session. During or after class, a child must not be allowed to leave the teacher/leader’s presence unless accompanied by a responsible adult.

  1. Each classroom or group must have ready access to a first aid kit, and each teacher/ leader must know where it is kept.

GOING OFF CAMPUS

  1. The following requirements apply whenever a child or youth group leaves the campus as part of a scheduled official NPYM youth event, whether driving, walking, taking public transport, cycling, or traveling by other means. (Note: these guidelines do not apply to transportation to or from the NPYM event.)

    1. Parent/guardian/sponsor pre-approval: The parent, guardian or sponsor should be informed beforehand about an off-campus event, and given an opportunity to ask questions and decide if they do not want their child to participate. Ideally, the parent, guardian or sponsor should sign a form giving permission for their child to participate in specific off-campus activities. Where that is not practical for JFs, the JF advisors should use good sense in allowing off campus events.

    2. Drivers must be at least 21 years of age, and must have a valid driver’s license. Owners of any privately owned vehicles being used to transport youth must have proof of car insurance. Drivers are responsible for ensuring that vehicle safety measures (seat belts, child safety/booster seats, etc.) are adhered to.

    3. First aid kits: When a youth group leaves the campus, the leaders or adults in charge should carry a basic first aid kit with them and carry working cell phones.

    4. Medical release forms: When a youth group leaves the campus during an NPYM youth event, the leaders or adults in charge must carry a signed medical release form for each child participating in the off-campus field trip. (Note: These should be already available in the classroom.)

    5. While they are officially participating in an NPYM youth event, children in grades pre-K through 8th grade are not allowed to leave campus unless accompanied by the responsible youth leader(s). High school aged youth might leave campus with the consent of the leader in charge (or according to the JF code of conduct, by signing themselves out). The leader in charge must know the JF’s destination, who they will be with, a phone number where the youth can be reached, and when the youth will return; the youth must then check back in upon returning to campus. It is expected that at least one person in any JF group leaving campus will carry a working cell phone so the JF leaders are able to contact them if necessary.

Attachments

JUNIOR FRIENDS CODE OF CONDUCT

Each year, the high school aged youth who participate in the Junior Friends program develop their own code of conduct for appropriate behavior at NPYM events. The current JF code of conduct is attached to these guidelines. Anyone with any questions, comments or concerns about the JF Code of Conduct should contact the JF clerk.

NPYM Junior Friends Code of Conduct

Written and adopted by JF February 2010

Code of Conduct:

1. No drugs
2. No sex- avoid activities that are exclusive.
3. No alcohol
4. Respect others' feelings, beliefs, belongings, and sleep
5. Help out by doing your share of the work
6. Attend all mandatory meetings
7. Get enough sleep to participate in the program
8. Abide by all rules given to you by a leader for that specific location
9. Be responsible for your own actions
(and the new one:)
10. Abide by the Junior Friends' safety policy.

The safety policy was drafted and approved at ski trip, and is as follows:

Goals:
1) To stay connected and together as a group
2) To assure the greater meeting that we are safe
3) To make activities flexible with the Junior Friends program

Safety Policy:

1. At Annual Session, have a sign out sheet on one advisor's door. Signing out is necessary to leave campus. Check out with an advisor in person if you can find one, but if not, signing out on the sign out sheet will suffice. This is the responsibility of the Co-Clerks.

2. A list of names of all participants in the program (and phone numbers, respectively) will accompany the sign out sheet on an advisor's door. This is the responsibility of the Co-Clerks.

3. Have a posted list in lounge of all the Junior Friends' positions. This is the responsibility of the Co-Clerks.

4. Get a complete list of all Junior Friends attending the program before Annual Session, camp, or ski trip. This is the responsibility of the Co-Clerks.

5. Provide and organize an emergency contract for group activities on medical release form. This is the responsibility of camp/ski trip coordinators.

6. At least 2 advisors must approve of an activity when dealing with people not participating in Annual Session, camp, or ski trip. This is the responsibility of the advisors.

7. No involvement with anyone under the influence of drugs or alcohol is allowed. Everyone is responsible for this.

8. Have communication device (cell phone, walkie-talkie, etc.) with a group that is out and about at all times. Everyone is responsible for this.

9. At camp, have the ranger phone number posted clearly at campsite in case of an emergency. This is the responsibility of the camp coordinators.

10. When going off campus or getting in a vehicle, have your medical release form on your person at all times, in addition to a copy that is kept with the advisors. Everyone is responsible for this.

11. In addition to the aforementioned Safety Policy, all Junior Friends adhere to the Junior Friends Code of Conduct.