Did you know that the Working With Children check and the National Police check are only two of the screening processes that the Diocese requires parishes to undertake when recruiting staff or volunteers for ministries or programs that are provided for children?

It is important that the other steps outlined in the Duty of Care Handbook (Guidelines for Leader Recruitment) are also followed. Asking all volunteers and applicants for ministry positions to fill out a Leader Application Form is important because it gives a clear message that your parish takes its duty of care to children seriously. It also helps the potential leaders think about their responsibilities and reinforces that they can expect to be working within an environment that cares about the safety of children.

Checking references is an effective screening process that should always be carried out. It is particularly important to check references from previous churches when recruiting people who have been in your church for less than a year, but even people who are long-standing members of the parish should be able to provide a reference.

The process of talking to referees about the suitability of the potential leader can help affirm the gifts that others have recognised. If problems are identified then it is far better to be able to deal with them at the recruitment stage than to be faced with potential disaster later on.