YWAM England Guidelines for accepting minors as volunteers or long term staff

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Guidelines for Accepting Minors as Volunteers and Long Term Guests at YWAM Locations

Under British law anyone under the age of 18 is a minor, therefore YWAM England carries greater responsibility for caring for a volunteer or guest who has not yet reached their 18th birthday. These people are classified as minors.

We recommend that any location seriously considers whether it is a wise option to invite a minor to join them, even for just a couple of weeks.

If the decision is made to issue the invitation then we strongly recommend:

  1. That pastoral oversight is provided by someone who lives on location, who has been police checked through the Criminal Records Bureau (CRB). This overseer will ensure that the minor is safe and well in all aspects. Together with the minor, they will agree on how the minor will serve the location and any appropriate boundaries, such as times to be on location at night. They should make contact with the minor's parent/legal guardian.
  2. This overseer will also liaise with the minor's work leader to ensure adequate supervision is provided. NB.. extra time and energy may be required due to the minor's age, a fact that should be taken into consideration during the application process.
  3. Risk assessment is done in terms of Health and Safety and Child Protection.
  4. Parental/Guardian consent is required for the minor to be accepted as a volunteer with YWAM England.
  5. A one month trial is strongly recommended.

Minors under the age of 16 are only to be considered in exceptional circumstances and in consultation with the National Staff Care and Development Team and the National Administrator. Set out below are some helpful guidelines on what a minor can do and when. However, guidance may still be needed to help the minor make wise decisions.

At the age of 16 you can legally:

  • buy and drink beer or cider to have with a meal in a pub, restaurant or hotel, you can also buy liqueur chocolates
  • you can register as a blood donor but you won't be asked to donate until you are 17
  • buy cigarettes and tobacco
  • leave home with or without the consent of your parents
  • choose your own doctor and consent to medical or dental treatment
  • apply for your own passport, with your parent's consent
  • consent to sexual intercourse with another person over the age of 16

At the age of 17 you can legally:

  • have a licence to drive a car, small goods vehicle or a tractor on a public road ( but not drive a YWAM Vehicle!)
  • donate blood without your parent's consent
  • be interviewed by the police without an appropriate adult

At the age of 18 you are legally an adult and all legal activities are permissible.

For further details see http://www.staffscareers.co.uk/law-and-crime

October 2003

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