MINISTRY WORKER SCREENING PROCESS

Protocols for working children and youth, and vulnerable adults and the elderly

"It is the goal of The Salvation Army to provide parents with the safest place to send their children. Because parents perceive The Salvation Army as an organization that helps and cares for people, we need to live up to that perception when it comes to church and camp programs for their children.” (Nancy Turley, Territorial Abuse Advisor)

We need to recognize that abuse happens and that it has happened within The Salvation Army. It is our job to work together to show families that “YOUR KIDS MATTER TO US” at The Salvation Army. In addition to children and youth, we are also committed to the safety of vulnerable adults and the elderly. We will always seek to protect them, and safeguard all our ministries from those would seek to harm.

Please choose the protocol (below) that matches the ministry group you are involved with:

Protocol for Working with Children and Youth

The protection of children and youth within the care of The Salvation Army is top priority. Every person working with children and youth within the Canada and Bermuda Territory must be thoroughly screened before any position can be held. This screening procedure is designed to provide a safe and secure environment for the children and youth we reach. The following steps and criteria should be kept in mind when considering someone for ministry to/with children and youth:

  1. Read the Territorial Abuse Prevention Policy Manual and the Territorial Abuse Prevention Resource Manual. Sign and submit to your ministry unit the “Acknowledgement of Abuse Prevention Policy Manual” form found in the Territorial Abuse Prevention Resource Manual.
  2. A Statement of Applicant to Work with Children and Youth and Vulnerable Adults must be completed and submitted to the corps officer or immediate supervisor at the commencement of each new position taken. This form will be submitted to DHQ who will submit name to the THQ Personnel Dept. to be checked against The Salvation Army’s Abuse Registry.
  3. A Police Record Check/Vulnerable Sector Check is required for anyone working with children or youth or having direct access to children and youth. These Checks must be done every three years by all youth workers. If a worker transfers to another division, a new Police Record Check will be required.
    If the Police Record/Vulnerable Sector Check shows a past record, the individual must reveal to The Salvation Army the nature of the record to determine appropriateness of involvement in children and youth ministry.
  4. On Praesidium Academy (The Salvation Army page), view and complete the quiz of each of the four main children and youth courses, and each following year complete the yearly Abuse Prevention Refresher course. The courses for working with youth are:
    • “Meet Sam”
    • “It Happened to Me”
    • “Duty to Report”
    • “Keeping Your Church Safe” (or “Keeping Your Camp/Day Camp Safe”)

Instructions on how to enroll, use this resource, and registration codes can be found here: Praesidium Academy Instructions.

Reference checks for those seeking employment must be completed. Keep a record of contact made with references.

Volunteers should only be permitted to work with children or youth after they have been involved in the church for a period of time (minimum of six months recommended). Letter of reference may be sought. This provides the church an opportunity to evaluate applicants and volunteers; and will repel persons seeking immediate access to children.

Those transferring into the Canada and Bermuda Territory must complete all the above items and have a letter of reference from their home territory/church.

Failure to follow this procedure will jeopardize the ministry of The Salvation Army, lead to cancellation of our liability insurance and place young people at risk of devastating abuse.

Protocol for Working with Vulnerable Adults and the Elderly

The safety of vulnerable adults and the elderly within the care of The Salvation Army is top priority.

(Vulnerable adults include) any person who, because of their age, a disability, or other circumstances, whether temporary or permanent, are in a position of dependence on others; or are otherwise at a greater risk than the general population of being harmed by person in authority or trust relative to them or may have difficulty ensuring their own safety and protection. This includes but is not limited to children, the elderly, those who are ill, mentally. and physically disabled, or those who are vulnerable because of life circumstances.

Every person working directly or having ongoing contact with vulnerable adults and the elderly within the Canada and Bermuda Territory must be thoroughly screened before any position can be held. For example, a Family Services worker who meets regularly with clients needs to complete this process or those in management of a Thrift Store or who have a supervisory role should complete this process. Workers or volunteers in a food bank or thrift store not working directly with vulnerable adults would not be required to complete this process.

This screening procedure is designed to provide a safe and secure environment for the vulnerable adults and the elderly we reach. The following steps and criteria should be kept in mind when considering someone for ministry to/with vulnerable adults and the elderly:

  1. A Statement of Applicant to Work with Children and Youth and Vulnerable Adults must be completed and submitted to the corps officer or immediate supervisor at the commencement of each new position taken. This form will be submitted to DHQ who will submit name to the THQ Personnel Dept. to be checked against The Salvation Army’s Abuse Registry.
  2. A Police Record Check/Vulnerable Sector Check is required for anyone working with children or youth or having direct access to children and youth. These Checks must be done every three years by all youth workers. If a worker transfers to another division, a new Police Record Check will be required.
    If the Police Record/Vulnerable Sector Check shows a past record, the individual must reveal to The Salvation Army the nature of the record to determine appropriateness of involvement in children and youth ministry.
  3. On Praesidium Academy (The Salvation Army page), view and complete the quiz of the following courses:
    The courses for working with vulnerable adults are
    • “Building Boundaries in Salvation Army Programs”
    • “Preventing Abuse Against Adults with Disabilities”

The courses for working with the elderly are

    • “Building Boundaries in Salvation Army Programs”
    • “Preventing Elder Abuse and Neglect”

Instructions on how to enroll, use this resource, and registration codes can be found here: Praesidium Academy Instructions.

Reference checks for those seeking employment must be completed. Keep a record of contact made with references.

Volunteers should only be permitted to work with vulnerable adults or the elderly after they have been involved in the church for a period of time (minimum of six months recommended). Letter of reference may be sought. This provides the church an opportunity to evaluate applicants and volunteers; and will repel persons seeking immediate access to vulnerable adults and the elderly.

A six-month period may not be an option in our social ministries so a letter of reference should still be sought in assisting to evaluate volunteers (When in doubt, contact Nancy.Turley@salvationarmy.ca)

Those transferring into the Canada and Bermuda Territory must complete all the above items and have a letter of reference from their home territory/church.

All who are involved in The Salvation Army are considered partners in safeguarding all Salvation Army programs. Failure to follow this procedure will jeopardize the ministry of The Salvation Army, lead to cancellation of our liability insurance and place those who are vulnerable at risk of devastating abuse. Thank you for caring deeply for those we serve.

Download both Screening Protocols as a pdf file HERE

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