Events and Activities for Children and Youth
A toolkit for planning and organising Parish or Diocesan Events and Groups for children and youth.
1. Starting out
Make sure the venue is appropriate for the group or event
Consider the day of the week and the time slot that the group or event is intended for and any issues which may arise from them, such as ease of travel. Set the proposed timescale and give yourself as much time as possible to organise the event.
Identify the aims of the group or event and the ages of children/youth you are targeting. There may be a need to make additional provision for some participants, so ensure that the appropriate adult-to-child ratios are met. Set a realistic number that can attend.
Decide on the activities to be held and look at any possible risks that may arise. If an event/group is held on church premises it will be covered by the general Diocesan insurance. If this is an offsite event, or if you have any doubts, check with your insurer.
Complete a CaSE 2 form. Pass to the Parish Priest or person in charge of the event for authorisation.
2. Policies and Specific Requirements
The consent forms contain relevant information which will assist in the safeguarding of children/youth involved in the group or event. It contains details of the event/activity, transport arrangements, medical information, photography/filming, any specific needs a child may have, contact information and consent from a parent or carer for a child/youth to attend.
Consent forms must be received far enough in advance of the event to allow time for the information to be checked and acted upon. Care should be taken to ensure that any sensitive information on the consent forms is shared appropriately with the relevant team leaders.
Complete CaSE 4 forms and retain in a secure place in accordance with the Data Protection Act.
3. Risk Assessment
Your risk assessment will be the key document to ensure the safe planning of the event or group. It involves carrying out a careful assessment of each activity in a group or event, deciding how any risks will be reduced and the action you intend to take.
The risk assessment should identify the minimum number of volunteers/leaders required. Ensure that all volunteers/leaders have been safely recruited (role description, completed application, references and relevant DBS (formerly CRB) check. All those involved in the event must be aware of safeguarding guidelines and competent to undertake their role.
Further details and advice are available from the parish safeguarding representative or diocesan safeguarding office. The latest copies of policies and procedures approved by the Bishops’ Conference and the National Catholic Safeguarding Commission (NCSC) are available in full at www.csasprocedures.uk.net.
Volunteer/staff ratios are difficult to judge as they will vary according to the type of the activity or event, age groups, location. The individual needs of any participants, volunteers or staff members should also be considered.
The following table shows recommended adult to child ratios. These are partially based on Ofsted guidelines and would be suitable for most groups working with children and young people. In the case of mixed-sex groups it is good practice to have volunteers /staff of both sexes.
Complete a CaSE 3 form
6. General Logistics
Recording Sheet – Keep a written record of each event/group, who attended, which volunteers or leaders were present, the focus of the activity and details of any significant incidents and the action taken.
Complete CaSE 5 form
7. Incident Reporting
Record details of all incidents, names of those present at the incident, the nature of any harm, treatment given and any other action taken and forward them to the Safeguarding Co-ordinator.
Complete a CaSE 6 form
8. Catering (where applicable)
Ensure all food hygiene guidelines are followed. It would be good practice for at least one leader to have the Food Hygiene Certificate. Make sure that allergies and other dietary requirements are catered for.
9. Transport (where applicable)
Those driving children and youth should have a full, clean driving licence, be in a fit state to drive and have appropriate car insurance cover. Children/Youth should not be transported without the prior consent of their parents/carers. There should be a non-driving escort as well as the driver.
10. Weather Conditions
If the event is outdoors ensure there is a contingency plan for difficult weather conditions.