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Transporting Children

Please note that this section should be read in conjunction with the code of behaviour for transporting children and young people.

Giving lifts to children and young people is one of the areas where boundaries can become blurred in the life of the church community. Is the leader of a group offering a lift to a child to attend a meeting as part of her responsibility as an appointed leader in the church, or because she is a friend of the child’s parents, or a relative of the child?

For the sake of clarity it is better to work on the principle that whenever an appointed children’s or youth worker gives a lift to children (other than their own children) to a church-run children’s or young people’s activity they should follow the procedures laid down by the church.

It is important that the church and parents are clear about the nature of arrangements for offering lifts to children to and from church based activities. If the arrangements are informal, private arrangements made between parents the following procedures do not need to be applied. However, if the transport arrangements are offered and made by the church or organisation, the procedures set out below should always be in place.

When children are transported in cars

  • Written permission from the parent/carer should be obtained. (See the model parental consent form.)

  • The driver should understand and agree to the church’s code of behaviour when transporting children or young people.

  • The driver should have fully comprehensive insurance which covers voluntary work (or in the case of a paid youth worker or children’s worker, insurance that covers them for transporting others in the course of their employment).

  • Seat belts should always be worn and the proper child seats and child restraints should be used for young children in accordance with the law

  • If a volunteer driver who has not been appointed as a children’s or young people’s worker is used to transport children and young people on church activities, the driver should be appointed following the procedures outlined under the church’s Safeguarding Children Policy.

Churches should not use people as drivers for children and young people when their criminal record shows a record of driving offences that suggests that the person may not be a safe driver.

When a mini-bus or coach is used to transport children or young people

Many hiring organisations now ask for the driver to have a MIDAS certificate. MIDAS is the Minibus Driver Awareness Scheme organised by the Community Transport Association. 

  • Ensure that the mini-bus or coach is fitted with seat-belts on all of the seats and that seat-belts are always worn.

  • Ensure that the number of children and adults does not exceed the capacity of the coach or mini-bus so that all can have an allocated seat with a seat-belt.
Case study 1
The parents of youth club members decide to arrange among themselves a rota to pick up their children after the youth club and drop them to one another’s homes. The parents offering to be part of the rota do not need to be appointed under the church’s Safeguarding Children Policy and do not need to apply for an Enhanced DBS Disclosure. This is a private arrangement made between the parents.

If one of the leaders of the youth club is part of this arrangement (because he is a parent of one of the members) he should comply with the code of behaviour for transporting young people.

Case study 2
Because of concerns about the safety of young people after the youth club, a church decides to arrange a rota of drivers to take youth club members home. Some of the drivers are workers and leaders in the youth club – others volunteer solely to drive the teenagers home. These drivers will need to follow the procedures laid out above and be appointed under the procedures set down in the church’s Safeguarding Children Policy, including applying for an Enhanced DBS Disclosures.

 
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