As we mentioned the other day, for the next few weeks we’re going to be highlighting some of our older posts that you may have missed the first time around – these are our Hidden Gems.
The Importance Of Risk Assessments
Our first gem is a post all about youth group safety – How To Do A Risk Assessment. When you’re doing any kind of youth work programs, it’s important to identify any kinds of hazards and risks.
You’ll need to perform one-off assessments when organizing youth group activities that are out of the ordinary – activities like youth retreats, camping trips, mission trips, scavenger hunts, etc. As you do these less often, there will be factors that you might not necessarily have to take into consideration for your normal programs:
- Is a retreat center in a forest that sometimes has wildfires?
- If you’re organizing a scavenger hunt for older teens that has them driving around, will this increase the likelihood that they might race and get in an accident?
- If you’re planning a trip to the beach, do your teens know how to swim? Have you checked how strong the currents are and if there are any lifeguards on duty the day you’re planning to go?
Risk assessments aren’t only for one-off events though – they’re just as important for your regular youth work programs. If anything, they’re more important as these are the programs your youth will be participating in far more often.
- Are there any high shelves with games equipment that are precariously balanced?
- Are fire escapes blocked?
- Do you have contact details for your young people’s parents / guardians in the event of an accident, so that you can obtain permission for medical treatment in an emergency?
- Do any of your youth have allergies, particularly to any food you might serve?
The examples listed above are just a tiny number of factors you might need to consider for your programs, but there will be plenty more that are unique for you.
So make sure you read How To Do A Risk Assessment. The post also provides free Word and PDF risk assessment templates you can download and use to make sure you’re keeping your youth as safe as possible, so make sure you share these with your fellow youth workers if they’ve not performed risk assessments themselves.
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