Leader Policies

Policies

To insure the safety of our youth and protect our church from liability, we have developed and enforced distinct policies for our adult workers.

Disclosure: Suicide
Dangerous & Illegal Activities
Alcohol
Sexual Misconduct
Disclosure: Sexual and Physical Abuse
 

Disclosure: Suicide

Suicide is the third cause of teen death. When a student discusses suicide, we don’t take it lightly. What constitutes a serious threat? Although no disclosures should be minimized, if a student has a plan— a time, place or method, then we must act immediately.
  1. Never promise to keep it a secret. Promise you will be responsible with the information, but never promise to keep a secret.
  2. Try to remove any access to the means; however, never try to physically remove a weapon from a suicidal person. You want them to surrender it voluntarily
  3. Stay with them & Use Positive Persuasion. Be positive, remain calm and empathetic. Use questions to help separate and define the issues. This will help remove some of the confusion in their minds. Show them how suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem. Persuade how they can have a positive impact on others. Don't stress the kind of pain it would cause their family or you (punishment is one key motives for suicide). Don't call the person's bluff, daring him or her to go ahead.
  4. Make sure the parents are informed. If a student has a plan, then in most cases, you should call the parents immediately. If the student doesn’t have a plan, but only passing thoughts, it is wise to persuade the student to tell his parents. Follow up later with the parents yourself to verify they know. Contact the parents sooner rather than later. If the parents already know about the danger and have the child in counseling, this could be adequate, but timing and frequency of ideation is important, so consult your sphere leader for adviceRefer suicide threats or ideas to outside professional counseling. We do not feel youth leaders are qualified to handle such dangerous situations. These cases should be referred to a licensed medical professional, so immediate referral is imperative.
  5. Refer suicide threats or ideas to outside professional counseling. We do not feel youth leaders are qualified to handle such dangerous situations. These cases should be referred to a licensed medical professional, so immediate referral is imperative.
  6. What if the threat is urgent?
    -Life-threatening cases: Immediately call 911.
    -While waiting for police to arrive, consider contacting one of the crises hotline centers listed below. Try to get the student to talk with them while you with them.      

Call Hotline Centers Open 24/7, 365 days per year
      -National Suicide Prevention Hotline 1-800-273-8255
      -North Central Mental Health now offers suicide prevention support via text messages at this                      number: 614-221-5445   
      -Nationwide Children’s (614) 722-1800. For students ages 17 and under
      -Netcare (614) 276-2273. For students ages 18+

Intake or Outpatient Psychiatric Center
- Nationwide Children’s for students ages 14 and under
-OSU Wexner Center for students ages 15-17
-NetCare for students 18+

       7. Report & Get Advice- Contact your home church and sphere leader for advice. Email disclosures@xenos.org and copy your senior cell leader, as well as Brad and Brian (dufaultb@xenos.org & runkb@xenos.org) but no later than 48 hours. The report should include the student’s first and last name, age, a description of what was disclosed, what you advised and any action you took, including any communication to the parents

Dangerous & Illegal Activities

The following policy should be adhered to regarding the participation in potentially dangerous & illegal activities while engaged in youth work. Failure to comply with this policy will result in disciplinary action. Please see to it that all of the work force in your group is familiar with this policy.

  • No minor or adult student worker is permitted to engage in illegal activities, as provided for in the City Ordinance of Columbus, the Ohio Revised Code, or other applicable laws or statutes during a Xenos sponsored event.
  • If there is an activity that is potentially dangerous, yet legal, the student group leader must receive a signed written waiver from the participating minor's parents or guardians in order for the minor to participate. Additionally, student groups workers and leaders must exercise good judgment not to incur undue risks.

Alcohol

The following is a policy to be adhered to regarding the consumption of alcohol while engaging in youth work. Failure to comply with this policy will result in disciplinary action which could include the withdrawal of an individual worker from the student group or the withdrawal of an individual from a position of leadership in Xenos. As per the enclosed Ohio Revised Code, no one under the age of 21 years can legally consume alcohol without consent and presence of their parents, legal guardians, or spouse (if spouse is 21 years of age or older). Accordingly, we observe three rules outlined below. See the attached relevant sections of the Ohio Revised Code as well. Please see to it that all of the work force in your group is familiar with this policy. As per Sections 4301.63 and 4301.69 of the Ohio Revised Code, "Underage person" includes any person under the age of 21 years.

  • No underage person is permitted to consume alcohol at any Xenos sponsored event except as otherwise provided in Section 4301.69 (B) of the enclosed Ohio Revised Code.
  • Under no circumstances should any adult student worker provide underage persons with alcoholic beverages except as otherwise provided in Section 4301.69 (A) of the enclosed Ohio Revised Code.
  • Adult youth workers may not consume alcohol at youth sponsored events.

Sexual Misconduct

The leaders of the Xenos Christian Fellowship felt it necessary to adopt a policy for the Student Ministries Division regarding sexual misconduct and adult youth workers. By no means do believe that our church could be immune to such an occurrence; therefore, we feel an aggressive position should be taken in protecting against incidents of sexual misconduct between adult workers and minors in our youth groups. In doing this we will be protecting minors and their families from the trauma associated with such incidents, as well as protecting our church. The risk of sexual contacts between adult workers and youth group members can never be eliminated, but steps can be taken to significantly reduce the risk of sexual seduction. Below are policies that need to be followed by all adult workers.

  • Adult youth workers should not be alone with a youth member of the opposite sex.
    • This means that an adult male worker should not be permitted to drive an unaccompanied female student either to or from fellowship activities. Adult male workers should be strictly prohibited from having sole custody of a female member of the youth group at any time, for any reason, with few exceptions (e.g., a younger brother or sister of the adult volunteer). Adult female workers should also follow this guideline with male members of the youth group. It also means that the adult male youth worker and a female member of the youth group should not be permitted to engage in private counseling sessions, or to associate alone, with few exceptions. The same would be true with an adult female worker and a male youth. Also, it would be wise to have at least two adult workers, preferably male and female, chaperone until the last youth leaves the meeting.
  • Inappropriate touch
    • The youth worker should not engage in inappropriate physical touch with youth members of the opposite sex. Some types are listed below:
      • Sitting on the lap of an adult volunteer
      • Prolonged frontal embrace
      • Kissing
  • Inappropriate communication
    • The youth worker should not engage in inappropriate discussions with youth members of the opposite sex.

Any suspicions of inappropriate conduct should be immediately confronted and investigated.

Investigations into any possible violations of this policy or other types of sexual misconduct, should be conducted. Failure of adult workers to comply with this policy will result in disciplinary action that could include the withdrawal of the worker from the student group. If the worker is not dismissed, prompt warnings should be issued when appropriate, and the situation monitored very closely by the leadership of the group.

Any violations of the above policies should be immediately reported to the Senior Leader of the Ministry Team. If the Senior Leader of the youth program has violated the above policies, then the Division Coordinator of Student Outreach and/or the eldership of Xenos should be notified.

Sexual relationships with minor members of the youth group could lead to a felony conviction and imprisonment in a state penitentiary.

Disclosure: Sexual and Physical Abuse

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