Child Safety for Virtual Youth Programs

NEYM’s Child Safety Policy applies to all youth programming, including programs provided virtually. The following are specific to the use of Zoom or worth highlighting:

  • Youth Programs’ Zoom meeting links will be shared with appropriate youth staff, participants, and parents/guardians only. These links will not be published more widely. Vetted adult staffers will “arrive” ahead of participants for all meetings.
  • Visitors to any of the youth programs must contact the program coordinator for links.
  • Visitors will not have access to any personal contact information for youth.
  • Zoom sessions with children under 12 will not be scheduled simultaneously with adult programming in order that parents are available off-screen to monitor their children’s participation.
  • All children under 12 will be identified by first name only on their screens.
  • Youth Staff will be trained to respond to uninvited guests or disruptions.
  • Program Coordinators and I.T. Support Staff will follow the most up-to-date best practices for safety.
  • Bearing in mind that Zoom keeps and accesses data from any recordings, whiteboards, chat data etc., no private health or sensitive pastoral care information will be uploaded, discussed in chats, or recorded (i.e., during youth staff meetings).
  • Youth Programs’ Zoom meetings will not be recorded.
  • Participants will commit to not taking screenshots. Photo consent by parents or guardians will be observed. Coordinators and designated “photographers” will announce when screenshots will be taken, providing opportunities for participants to opt out. Only first names of children may appear in any NEYM event photos.
  • All groups, including breakout groups, will strive to have at least two vetted adult youth workers present. When small breakout groups of teens have only one, the program coordinator will make unannounced “visits,” ensure there are at least three participants in the breakout group, and review how to leave the meeting/room with everyone ahead of time.
  • Questions or concerns regarding this policy and best practices should be addressed to Kara Price, Children & Family Ministries Coordinator, or Noah Merrill, NEYM Secretary.