IMPORTANT: St Johns Youth, Permission for Group Online Communication

IMPORTANT: St Johns Youth, Permission for Group Online Communication

Hey Parents,

This parents blog is full of important info so please read it all. 

Within the current pandemic situation St Johns Youth wants to do all that we can to stay connected with our young people. We think now more than ever maintaining a community of encouragement, support and prayer is important. In light of this we will be moving our Youth Life Groups to an online platform called Zoom. Zoom is an online video conferencing system that allows us to host gatherings where we can interact within our groups.  If you would like further information about how Zoom works head to https://zoom.us/about 

We want to create and maintain a safe and secure environment for our youth and leadersBelow are our guidelines for use: 

Weekly Life Groups (Same meeting times as before, just now online!) 

Our hope is that these will continue to be a place for our youth to feel connected and share what has been happening in their week. We will still incorporate games (both via video and some multiplayer online games), bible discussion and prayer.  

Here are the set guidelines and expectations:  

  1. Parental consent is required before leaders can connect in with the youth via Zoom and any other online platform. Permission only needs to be provided once to allow youth to be contacted online for youth ministry purposes until the end of pandemic restrictions. Instructions for consent can be found below. 
  2. Leaders will take record of who is present at each Zoom gathering. If requested, we can confirm with parents when their child has been on the call. 
  3. Youth will conduct themselves in an appropriate manner (including where they Zoom in from and what they wear). Leaders have permission to remove attendees when their behaviour is disruptivedisrespectful or inappropriate 
  4. All Zoom gatherings are password protected and the password will only be given to parents and youth when permission to participate has been received.  
  5. There will be a minimum of two youth leaders present at each Youth Life Group gathering. 
  6. The Zoom gathering will not go ahead if there is only one youth attendee.
  7. Before being accepted into a Zoom gathering attendees will be ‘approved’. This will ensure only those who have been approved by the host (youth life group leader) are in the gathering. 

Other ways of communicating digitally: 

Each Youth Life Group currently has a WhatsApp group chat used for communicating with one-another and the leaders. We will continue to use this for communication as well as communicating important information to parents via text, phone calls and the Parents Blog.  

As we adapt to these changes and work out what does and doesn’t work, we may decide to meet in a different time slot if that suits youth and families better. This will be discussed with the leaders in each group and communicated accordingly.  

We will be encouraging youth to use Zoom if they would like to ‘hangout’ together with other members of their Life Group throughout the week.  

Over the next two weeks we will organise a Zoom catch-up and hangout to test it out and play some games with each group. We will officially kick of youth life groups for term 2 – 16th April, Older Group and 19th April, Younger Group.  

We will be using a free gaming platform called Steam to play some multiplayer games together. The platform requires an email and password to create an account. Once created there are many great games that can be played for free. To avoid any unwanted purchases, you can choose to only download free games and never enter any payment details. If you would like further information about Steam and to install head to
https://store.steampowered.com/about/ 

As we long-term consider what our youth ministry will look like, we may consider using other apps or services to help us connect with each other effectively. However, we will always clearly communicate with youth and parents before introducing anything new, continuing to ensure precautions around safety and privacy are taken. 

Parents Blog: 

If you are not subscribed to the Parents blog please do so here: www.stjohnsdc.org.au/card/connect/ 

Parental Consent: 

Please complete this form:
‘Permission for Group Online Communication – Children and Youth’ 

Questions or concerns: 

If you have any questions or concerns please don’t hesitate to contact me, 

Andi Fidock,
Trainee Youth Minister St Johns Diamond Creek
e. andrea@stjohnsdc.org.au
p.0466 549 837  

*Huge thanks to Ignite Youth for allowing us to adapt their resource for our purposes. 

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