Safety Basics: Steps 8 & 9

Transportation

Insurance Board: Includes insurance issues, driver selection, inspection, vehicle maintenance and accident reporting, and qualification forms

 

Guidelines for Transportation for the Insurance Board (See Policy Template)

  • No employee or volunteer shall transport a single child that is not his/her own, except as may be required in an emergency with the approval of a supervisor. Communications shall be established to verify the whereabouts, expected arrival and change of custody of the child.

  • Any driver operating a vehicle which holds 16 passengers or more, including the driver, shall possess a valid Commercial Driver License (CDL).

  • Any person who drives on behalf of (Your Church) sponsored programs shall be previously qualified under our transportation and driver qualification procedure. (Appendix B – Applications & Forms)

  • Adult-child ratios shall be maintained and within the safe loading limits of the vehicles being used.

  • As practicable, mixed age groups are not to sit together.

  • Employees and volunteers are not to make unauthorized or unplanned stops.

  • On each trip, a vehicle log shall be maintained which documents the departing time, arrival time, destination, mileage, names of passengers and supervising staff and volunteers, and any unusual occurrences.

  • All passengers are to be seated and to use safety belts as available.

  • Employees and volunteers are to be seated on larger vehicles in a way that permits them to supervise young passengers.  

  • When passengers must disembark at a rest facility or destination, care shall be taken to obtain a headcount on arrival and departure. All passengers shall be required to complete a trip on the same vehicle to assure accountability .

 

Camps

Insurance Board: Loss Control Manual, Camps

Insurance Board: American Camp Association Standards

American Camp Association

 

Most camps are supported by the appropriate region/conference or United Church of Christ Outdoor Ministry Association. Below are just some basic resources to help inform those who are involved in this crucial ministry. Make sure all your safety forms and basics are covered and cleared with your insurance provider.

 

A local congregation does want to make sure that basic standards of safety are written and clear when taking a child to and from camp. (See Transportation section, above.)


Resource: Safe Gatherings: The Trouble with Camp

 

Mission Trips (Try an Intergenerational Trip!)

  • Educate guardians beforehand about the mission project

  • Make sure to have the forms needed, and waiver forms for high adventure activities

  • Have parents and youth sign an agreed upon covenant prior to journey (see Step 9: Behavior, below)

 

Guidelines for Off Campus Trips from the Insurance Board (See Policy Template)

The following standards will apply in addition to standards for off-site activities:

  • All overnight activities, whether on the church site or not, shall have prior approval of (Leadership title).

  • All overnight activities include a minimum of two adult chaperones over 21 years of age.

  • All volunteers and employees under 18 years of age must be supervised at all times.

  • Parent/guardian permission shall be obtained.  Permission forms are to site the destination(s) and activities in which the child might engage (e.g,, climbing wall, horseback riding, soccer, baseball, etc.)

  • The parent/guardian providing permission shall indicate who will receive the child on return if other than the person signing the permission.

  • At all times through the night an employee or volunteer must remain on duty at a location to supervise the coming and going of any child and to assure safe evacuation during an emergency and to prevent children sneaking out.  (Maximum two hour watches through the night are recommended.)

  • Trip leaders or other designated adult shall conduct routine walk-throughs of high risk areas

  • For the event of a building evacuation, an outdoor rally point will be designated in advance. 

  • A roster will be maintained of the room assignments for each child and adult.

  • A bed check will be conducted at a specific time known to all.

  • Adult-child ratios are to be maintained for outings away from the lodging site.

  • A daily schedule of events shall be maintained with supervisory duty assignments included.

  • Double-queen lodging is preferred at hotels, four to a room.  Children in each room will be of similar age.  No adult will share a bed with a child.

  • Adult rooms will be scattered among rooms occupied by children.  There shall be at least one adult lodged on any floor on which children are sleeping.

  • Standards for bathroom, out-of-the-way, off limits locations and transition time shall be maintained as the site circumstances and facilities may require.

 

Sample Mission/Work Trip Covenant (Click here)
Off Campus (Transportation, Camp, Mission Trips, Retreats, Events)

At some point children will leave the premises. It is an unsafe world out there, but we are called in our faith to face it and love it.

Behavior

Every person who has ever worked with children/youth has given the "Don't forget who you are representing speech." Many basic behaviors can be taught in repectful ways by communicating clear expectations of everyone early on. Safety is not just a physical need, but a mental and spiritual need that also requires guidelines. Write down the expectations, review, and sign.

 

Sometimes difficult moments in ministry can be avoided if the basic respectful standards are discussed as a community prior to working together.

  • Cell Phone Use

  • Respectful Photos

  • Engaging Behavior (Technology, etc.)

  • Appropriate Language and Clothing

  • Bullying

  • Accessibility

  • Mercy, Love, Forgiveness, and Patience

 

This page was last updated by JK 9/29/14

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317-713-2641

Ministries Across Generations

Disciples Home Missions

PO Box 1986, Indianapolis, IN 46206-1986

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