Revocation, Removal and Suspension Guidance
The privilege of being a Registered Children and Youth Worker (RCYW) requires a youth worker to have:
- A sense of calling to minister to youth and young people;
- An exemplary lifestyle;
- A willingness to mentor through actions and words; and
- An understanding of the appropriate interpersonal boundaries to use when ministering to children and young people.
Situations arise when Church leaders or the youth worker may feel it is no longer appropriate for a youth worker to minister in that role. Church leaders are guided by the following information related to what action(s) should be taken in those situations.
RCYW status categories
- An individual will be registered and considered an active Registered Children & Youth Worker (RCYW) if the individual has successfully completed both of the following steps:
- The individual’s RCYW application has been approved through Community of Christ’s RCYW registration process
- The individual has taken the RCYW Core training class
- Active youth workers are expected to faithfully follow and uphold the Church’s child protection guidelines
- Youth workers are encouraged to stay up to date in their understanding of the Church’s child protection guidelines by regularly attending training sessions and reviewing Church resources related to child protection.
- An individual’s RCYW status can be removed under certain circumstances, at the request of the youth worker or mission center officer.
- Removal could be an appropriate option when:
- Youth worker is no longer able to effectively provide youth ministry due to health or age-related conditions
- Youth worker is no longer active in the church
- Not participating in the life of Community of Christ and has no plans to do so in the foreseeable future
- Becomes “unknown” to the church because of lack of response to communications and opportunities to express continuing commitment
- Youth worker no longer wishes to provide youth ministry
- Youth worker has not complied with renewal or recertification processes required by law (only applies in certain jurisdictions)
- If an individual’s RCYW status is removed and he or she later wants to become eligible to be a RCYW again, the individual would need to complete all steps of the RCYW registration process at that time, including submitting a new RCYW application with updated references and current applicant information.
- RCYW status should be suspended in certain situations to protect children and youth, as well as protecting the youth worker.
- Suspension would be an appropriate option when there are:
- Criminal charges of a non-abuse nature
- Allegation of abuse, not resulting in criminal charges (suspension is mandatory, pending outcome of investigation)
- Allegation of inappropriate sexual behavior, not resulting in criminal charges (suspension is mandatory, pending outcome of investigation)
- Concerns about a youth worker’s life choices, inappropriate judgments or events in a youth worker’s personal life that may adversely affect the youth worker’s ability to offer ministry
- Concerns about the effectiveness of a youth worker’s ministry, the willingness of the youth worker to adhere to child protection guidelines or the appropriateness of the youth worker’s continued work with children and youth
- Suspension can last up to 1 year, providing time to resolve any charges or allegations, as well as satisfactorily completing any administrative conditions/requirements imposed for the individual to be eligible for reinstatement.
- Note: Revocation will happen automatically at the end of the year’s suspension, unless the individual has completed all required steps for reinstatement and such reinstatement has been approved by appropriate church officials.
- Youth worker status should be revoked in the following situations.
- Criminal charges of abuse
- Admission of abuse
- Failure to complete required steps during a suspension to become eligible for reinstatement
- An investigation team concluded that allegations of inappropriate conduct were more likely than not true
- Youth worker is involuntarily released from priesthood office
- If youth worker status is revoked, and the individual later wants to become eligible to be a RCYW again, she or he must first complete any administrative conditions/requirements imposed at the time of suspension or revocation. The individual would then need to complete all steps of the RCYW registration process, including submitting a new RCYW application with updated references, current applicant information, and a statement that includes a description of the steps they have taken to satisfy any administrative conditions/requirements imposed previously.
- Please note that an individual who is convicted of or confesses to abuse or sexual offenses would not be eligible to become a youth worker again.
Withdrawing Church Membership
Church membership is not a requirement to be a registered youth worker with Community of Christ. Therefore, a youth worker that withdraws their membership would not automatically have their youth worker status removed. However, it may be appropriate in certain situations for the youth worker’s status to be removed at the request of the individual or mission center officer.