It usually takes roughly two to three weeks from the time you submit your application to your parish for your background check to be completed. However, this time frame can vary depending on information submitted by you on the application. Failure to sign a background check request form can significantly delay processing. See the related page below to download the forms you need.
The rental and use of 15 passenger vans is prohibited.
The vehicle checklists should be used when transporting young people. Please see various FSGC checklists at the bottom of this page, especially those regarding transportation - here.
CYM will provide, upon request, a certificate of liability insurance that names your parish and the rental agency as being covered. This coverage is only for liability, not collision, and is not applicable in cases of gross negligence (i.e., a driver who talks on the phone or texts while driving is illegal in some states but negligent everywhere; driving while tired or driving at excessive speeds would also qualify as gross negligence).
While it will cost more, you should strongly consider purchases the supplemental collision insurance offered by the rental company. If you do not, your personal insurance will always be on the hook, no matter whose is at fault for damages. (For example, even if someone collides with your rental car while you are driving, your insurance will have to pay up front and you will have to pay your deductible out of pocket. Your insurance may then try to recover costs, but you will still be out the initial expense.)
To ensure that all drivers’ coverage is in order, please make two photocopies of all your drivers’ insurance cards, driver’s licenses, and (if you are using personal vehicles), individual vehicle registration cards. Inspect each document to make sure they are not expired or do not expire during the trip. Leave one set of copies with your emergency contact at the parish.
Young people are going to want to listen to music while they travel. Please make sure any music playing is not so loud as to impede the driver’s ability to hear another car honking or the sirens of emergency vehicles.
If you rent vehicles, take a camera with you. Photograph any damage, no matter how insignificant to avoid getting charged upon your return.
Make sure that if you use personal vehicles to transport young people, the owners of those vehicles have had them inspected recently and that the vehicles are in good working order. If you borrow the vehicle, the insurance coverage lies with the driver, not the owner of the car.
- Safety is paramount: plan to stop every two hours.
- Avoid caravanning, which is illegal in some states.
- Empower someone else to be in charge of communicating with passengers in other cars so drivers are not distracted.
- Avoid towing anything, putting roof racks on rental cars, or in any way inhibiting the structural integrity or safety of a vehicle that is carrying young people. If towing is necessary, use a separate vehicle that does not carry young people and is driven by someone with experience towing a trailer, etc.
To obtain a CYM ID, an adult must first have a cleared backgound that is approved by the Diocese of Wilmington Human Resources office (302-573-3126). Once cleared by the Human Resource office, a request for an ID must be submitted through your parish/school AA President.
All CYM coaches are required to wear the ID badge during all practices and games. A replacement badge is $5 and can be ordered directly by calling CYM.
Those Coordinators of Youth Ministry and Religious Education who wish, may request and ID badge from CYM for their volunteers by sending a list of names, clearance dates (obtained by calling the Human Resource office) directly to CYM. Please allow two to three weeks for processing.
In order to obtain the correct ratio of young people to cleared adults you should follow the following guidelines:
- Two cleared adutls per the initial seven youth for 8th grade and below
- Two cleared adults per the initial 10 high school youth
- One cleared adult per additional 10 youth in all age groups
- Events like school or parish dances, however, have separate guidelines and regulations, which can be in the related document below.
The Diocese of Wilmington takes the safety of young people very seriously.
In response to the Charter for the Protection of Children, published in 2002 by the United States Bishops, diocesan officials created "For the Sake of God’s Children." This documents is the Diocese of Wilmington policy concerning adults that work with children such as volunteers in youth ministry, volunteers in Catholic schools and adults that volunteer to coach in the CYM athletic program. This document outline in detail expectations and requirements that include background checks, signing volunteer covenants and minimum number of cleared adults needed when children are present.
Effective communication can be a valuable tool for adult leaders in ministry. Young people communicate constantly with one another; they are more tied to technology than any generation in history. If adult leaders are to adequately engage young people in the life, mission, and ministry of the Church, we must also communicate with them and with each other, consistently and appropriately.
For complete details of CYM's current Technology policies and guidelines, see the related document below.
Finding and selecting appropriate adult drivers is essential to youth ministries "on the go" scheduling. Competent, responsible, mature adults are in great demand. Drivers for youth ministry activities, events, programs, retreats, etc. must be responsible adults at least 25 years of age. For complete details of the FSGC rules and regulations, see the related documents below.
And, please, remember to give an orientation to all your volunteers so expectations are clear.
If you have a situation when two cleared adults are not in the same vicinity for a fixed period of time (i.e., young people assisting in the youth ministry/parish office when other parish staff are not present) you should keep doors to office/meeting rooms/storage rooms open. You should make sure that someone knows when the people arrive and leave the building and this arrangement should always be cleared with the young person's parents.
The best policy, however, is to always have two cleared adults for ministry settings.
If a young person is attending an off site event (away from the parish grounds) an event specific Form B consent and release form is required for every young person. If you are holding an on-site event you which lasts less than 6 hours you can use the Annual Consent and Release form. A young person may attend one on site event without having submitted this form.
See Commonly Used Forms for a complete listing of forms.
Good communication can solve most issues in ministry.
Establish a policy with young people and parents that early drop off put you and your volunteers in a difficult situation and that all parents should stay long enough to make sure two cleared adults are present. If a parent drops off a child and you are the only adult, request that they stay until one of your chaperones arrives. If you are unable to arrange for another adult to join you, you could have the child stand at the door and act as a greeter, waiting for other adults and young people to arrive.
Plan ahead and communicate your expectations often.
No, you would not need to be concerned about meeting FSGC guidelines in this instance because each child would have their sponsor as their own personal chaperone. A consent form would still need to be signed, with the understanding that the sponsor is responsible for chaperoning their Confirmation candidate on the retreat.
Ask yourself this question: am I acting as a neighbor or as a youth minister? Be reasonable. Driving a neighbor's child to and from an event is a reasonable act, unless en route you plan to stop to shop or run other errands in your capacity as a youth minister. Communicate with your neighbor. Be clear in your expectations and in what you agree to do.
Above all, drive as you would want your own children to drive. Young people learn from watching adults.
It is in the best interest of both you as an adult and the young person to have another adult stay with you while you wait for the to parent to arrive. When a tardy parent does arrive, explain the need to arrive on time for pick up.
It is important to have both male and female chaperones if you have a mixed group of young people to best meet FSGC guidelines. Your male and female mix of chaperones will come in handy when its time to check the bathrooms or minister to a girl or boy with specific needs. More importantly, adults serve as a model of appropriate faith formation and behavior for young people so be sure to provide men and women as examples to your youth.
For more details on chaperones, see the related document below.
The Volunteer Covenant should be signed annually by all adults in ministry.
The Volunteer Covenant presents adult leaders in ministry with general guidelines of acceptable and unacceptable behaviors. It is not exhaustive in nature. To be cleared for service, every adult leader must have completed a Volunteer Covenant each year. These signed documents must be kept on file with the FSGC compliance officer for your parish or school and must be available upon request to the diocesan auditor. After a new covenant is signed, the previous year’s covenants should be shredded.
Parish leadership is encouraged to share the responsibility for oversight of covenants, though it is not inappropriate for one parent to sign one covenant in several areas of ministry. In fact, this allows all those leaders to be clear in their expectations of adult volunteers.
Youth Ministry leaders often become trusted individuals in the lives of young people, but it is important to remember that as a leader you must always maintain appropriate boundaries. When a young person approaches you to talk privately, you should always remember to do so in a manner that respects FSGC, which means in open view of another adult or in a room that has window or open door. If they should say that they can only talk to you "if your promise not to tell anyone" your response should be that you care for them, are concerned for them, and would like to hear what they have to say, but that if you feel their safety or well being is in jeopardy that it is your responsibly to help them.
Youth Ministers, Religious Educators, teachers, catechists, and other volunteers can offer no guarantee of confidentiality. In the eyes of the law, such a guarantee does not exist.
Communication and training among your adult volunteers is crucial. So is communication to and with your teens. Young people expect clear guidelines and expectations from adults. As agents of the Church, you must provide it.
Form A and Form B both expressly forbid the use or presence of alcohol - by young people or adults - at youth ministry events. If alcohol or drug use is discovered or suspected, please follow the guidelines for sending a young person home, found below.
Adult leaders in ministry must communicate the moral and legal ramifications of “sexting” to the young people they serve as well as their parents. Sexting (a combination of the words sex and texting) is the act of sending sexually explicit messages or photos electronically, primarily between cell phones. Because this is a relatively new activity, there are not many laws pertaining directly to sexting. But the laws on child pornography in our nation are clear, and when nude photos of minors are electronically distributed, whether over the Internet or via cell phone transmission, senders and recipients are potentially looking at serious penalties, including jail time and felony charges. Parents who provide cell phones to their young people are potentially liable in such cases, depending on state laws, evidence and other factors.
For complete details on CYM's policies regarding technology, see the related document below.
First, plan ahead to avoid this nightmare!
If you have a significant amount of young people who are ready to participate in the event than you should recruit non-cleared adults (parents) to stay with you and help you facilitate the event, however you should ensure that at no time these young people are left unsupervised with uncleared adults. If you only have a small number of young people who have come to participate in the event than you should consider calling the parents, explaining the situation and having the young people be picked up.
The best practice is to always clear adults who will spend significant amounts of time with young people.
That being said, it is not always necessary for a speaker or presenter to have a background check or complete the FSGC clearance process, as long as that person will always be in the presence of the required number of volunteers and will be involved with your program for a limited amount of time. However, it is always advisable to use a speaker/presenter who has gotten a background check.
Any adult wishing to volunteer for any Youth Ministry or serve as a chaperone for an event must first complete the FSGC clearance process, which includes a background check and a Volunteer Covenant. We would also suggest you train all of your volunteers on the parish level before you use them as volunteer with your programs.