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Parental Consent

A key component in developing safe practice with children and young people is to work in partnership with parents/carers.  When children and young people are in the care of church organisations it is important:

  • to have the consent of the parent/carer

  • to have a point of contact in the event of an emergency

  • to know key information about the child or young person that may impact on their wellbeing

  • to provide clear information to parents/carers about the organisation and activities the child or young person is involved in and the safeguarding policy of the church

All children and young people should be registered and parents/carers should be asked for the following details of their child:

  • Full name

  • Address

  • Home telephone number and alternative contact number(s) in case of an emergency

  • Date of birth

  • Details of any medical conditions the church should be aware of, or of any food or drug allergies etc.

  • Details of any behavioural issues or other matters that might be relevant

In addition consent should be explicitly obtained for the following:

  • emergency medical treatment

  • travel arrangements when transport is being organised

  • taking the child or young person off the church premises for occasional activities (where appropriate)

  • special consent for any overnight event or activity

  • use of the child’s photograph in church publicity material or on the church website

  • electronic communication with the child/young person

  • for children up to the age of 7, consent regarding who is entitled to collect the child from a group

Two model parental consent forms can be found in the download section of this website.

Parents/carers should be given the following information:

  • name and contact telephone number for the leader of the group/activity attended by the child or young person

  • outline details of the group/activity the child or young person is attending, including the starting time and the time the event ends, together with expectations as to whether children or young people should be collected or whether they make their own arrangements to go home

  • that the church has a Safeguarding Children Policy and that in the event of the parent/carer having any concerns about the welfare of their child in relation to the church, they should contact the Designated Person for Safeguarding

  • name and contact number of the Designated Person for Safeguarding

The details on the consent form should be available to the leader of the group or activity each time the group or activity meets so that the contact information and medical information etc is readily available in the event of an emergency.

The church’s written procedures should make it clear who is responsible in each group for obtaining the parental consent forms and how these should be stored. The information should be held in accordance with the church’s Data Protection Policy. In complying with data protection legislation, churches should ensure that the information they retain is accurate and that information is held only while the information is necessary and relevant. This means that churches should be careful about keeping their records of children and young people up-to-date:

  • there should be a policy of requiring parents to complete the consent form annually, ensuring that the contact information is accurate and that any changes in a child’s medical condition, etc. are updated

  • the records of any children and young people who have stopped attending should be deleted

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