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Training for Safety in Youth Ministry
Training for Safety in Youth Ministry
High School-Aged Youth Faith Development, Middle School-Aged Youth Faith Development, Safe Congregations

In youth ministry, safety training is needed for youth, youth leaders, advisors, and parents. Adults and youth need to be on the same page and have a shared understanding of expectations for themselves and others, the responsibilities and requirements of adults working with youth, as well as the tools and knowledge necessary to create safe and inclusive environments. 

Best Practices

  • All staff and if applicable, all volunteers who work with youth receive training on signs of sex abuse, sex abuse prevention, and reporting procedures.
  • Education is provided on abuse prevention awareness in the context of positive sexuality education for children, youth, and parents/guardians at least every other year, including such topics as safer internet use, bystander and anti-bullying education, harm to self or others, and consent.
  • Youth and parents should be aware of the behavioral expectations of staff and volunteer adults so aberrations are more likely to be reported.
  • Education about mandated reporting requirements, state specific laws around minors and sexuality and specific implications for youth after they turn 18.

Resources                                

Competencies for Ministry to/with Youth: Religious professionals can use this tool as a guideline for healthy best practices in hiring volunteers and staff and evaluating existing teams. We know religious professionals aspire to hire the best volunteers and staff to work with youth, and this tool can help religious professionals hire and mentor the right adults.

Faith Trust Institute: webinars offer valuable insight and education about the intersection of faith with sexual and domestic violence and child abuse, as well as the importance of clergy ethics and healthy relationships in preventing harm.

Stop It Now: Facts sheets that can be used for handouts for training workshops on warnings signs, talking to children, safety planning, and information for parents of children with disabilities.

Next Best Practice: Supervision

About the Author

  • The regional Congregational Life staff are congregations' local connection to the UUA. All of the program Congregational Life staff have expertise in most aspects of congregational life and each also has a few program areas of expertise. See the UUA Congregational Life Staff...

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For more information contact safecongregations@uua.org.