What Would You Do?

Monday, April 23rd, 2018

Imagine this scenario: It’s the end of a night of volunteering with youth, and you are busy cleaning up outside while youth are wrapping up indoor activities. When you go back into the building to lock up, you notice one youth still there—and everyone else has gone home. The teen has his cell phone in hand and is not able to reach anyone to pick him up. You are willing to give him a ride, but you know that a serving adult should not be alone with a child or youth. In fact, you already feel you are in a predicament. What do you do?

Kudos for remembering the rules of Safe Gatherings and proper boundary awareness when serving. Now, what to do? You do have a few options. First, call one of the leaders and try to get them to return. At the very least, explain the situation. Continue to try to reach the parents with your own cell phone. If you cannot reach a parent, call your supervisor and say that you are taking the youth home, but would like to stay on the phone until you drop the youth off. At the same time, have the youth call a friend and remain on the line until he is home safe.

This may seem complicated, but it is necessary to ensure protection for both yourself as a volunteer AND the young person.

Document what happened, and make sure there are policies in place for making sure everyone is accounted for at the end of all activities.