What is a “Youth Worker” or an “Adult Ally to Youth”?
There are many ways for adults to act as allies to young people. How many can you come up with?
For example: remembering the names of the children in your Meeting and greeting them individually. Or making sure that engaging childcare or children and teen activities are available at Meeting sponsored events so that parents can have some adult time while knowing their children are getting their needs met, too. How about involving middle schoolers, teens, young adults, and adult allies in planning fun, spiritually deepening activities together for the Meeting?
A spiritually-alive, inclusive, multi-generational community is the kind of place that’s attractive to newcomers and keeps us all coming back!
There are two ways to become a Quaker Youth Worker. One is by serving on committees. The other is by serving as event support (Quakerly chaperons) officially called Friendly Responsible Adult Presences (FRAPs).
Check out the sections below for ways to grow your skills and get involved:
Roles and Service Opportunities
- Application Form & Information Packet | To be used for both teacher and FRAP applications for Annual Sessions. Form may be adapted for other youth-events sponsored by the Yearly Meeting.
1) Children’s Program needs Teachers for PacYM Annual Session
– Teachers work either morning or afternoon shift and get a full registration fee waiver for dorm or camping, plus fun and learning with the children’s program!
– See the Children’s Program page and Resources Section below for more info.
– Job descriptions for CP Teachers and the CP Coordinator
– Archive: 2018, 2017, 2016
2) Teen Program (JYM) invites applications to be a Friendly Responsible Adult Presence (FRAP) at PacYM Annual Session
– FRAPs work either daytime or evening shift and get a full registration fee waiver for dorm or camping, plus get the joy of hanging out with JYM!
– See the JYM page and Resources section below for more info.
– “Expectations for FRAPs” (PDF)
– “Consider Being a FAP for JYM: What does a FAP do?” (PDF, 2014 version, slightly outdated)
– Archive: 2018, 2017, 2016
3) Quarterly Meetings
4) Camp Staff
Staff is periodically needed for camps and other events at our Quaker organizations, such as Ben Lomond Quaker Center, Camp Woolman/Sierra Friends Center, and Quaker Oaks Farm, among others. Contact them directly.
Prepare to be a PacYM Youth Worker
- Read: All of the Resource Materials section below.
- Jot down any questions you have and ask the Children’s Program Coordinator or Clerk, the JYM teen clerks, a teen in your Meeting, an adult JYM Committee member, the Youth Programs Coordinator, or another FRAP or Teacher.
- Consider the queries for adult allies below.
- Get oriented!
- Take a “Becoming Adult Allies to Youth” workshop offered periodically by our Youth Programs Coordinating Committee.
- Attend the program’s Orientation Meeting. Mandatory for PacYM Teachers, FRAPs, teen and children’s committee members, and youth leaders. Held in the afternoon of the first day of PacYM Annual Session, followed by meeting with Parents/Guardians/Sponsors.
“Becoming Adult Allies to Youth”: Please check back for future dates and locations. (Archive: See full description and download flier from this link.) If your Meeting or Worship Group would like to host one of these workshops, contact the Youth Programs Coordinator.
- PacYM Child Abuse Prevention Policy
- All the information of the Children’s Program page
- All the information on the JYM page, especially the Call to JYM, Welcome Letter, “What to Expect” for parents/guardians and sponsors, Respectful Relationships and Parental Consent Forms, and Schedules.
- “Expectations for FRAPs” (PDF)
- “Consider Being a FAP for JYM: What does a FAP do?” (PDF, 2014 version, slightly outdated)
- Intergenerational Book Project, December 2011 (YPC)
- “Build It! A Toolkit for Nurturing Intergenerational Spiritual Community” (FGC Youth Ministries)
- Articles by Friends, for Friends:
- “Committing to be an Ally to Youth is like Promising to Eat More Vegetables” (PDF Article in Western Friend Magazine), by Alyssa Nelson
- “Sexuality Education and Expectations for PacYM Teen Program” (PDF Article in Western Friend Magazine), by Alyssa Nelson
- “Supporting and Empowering our Teens and Youth” (link to The Australian Friend website), by Sally Kingsland
- Teen Program Handbook for CPQM (Note that JYM doesn’t have its own handbook, and some things differ among CPQM, SCQM, and JYM)
Some Queries to Consider
- Think of a time when someone acted as an ally to you, or a time when you wish you had had an ally. What was that like for you? What worked well and what would you change? What needs were or weren’t met?
- Think of a time when you acted as an ally for someone else. What motivated you? What happened? What feedback or reaction did you get? What would you do the same and/or differently in the future?
- Think or feel back to when you were a teen. What was your experience of relating to adults at that time? If you had an adult in your teen years who made a positive impact for you (either long term or for a one-time-event), what were their personal qualities and ways of interacting?
- Think or feel back to when you were a younger child….
Requests for Youth Workers to help at non-YM events
In response to multiple requests from members of the wider PacYM community for help finding or recommending “Friendly Responsible Adult Presences” or other youth-workers, the Youth Programs Coordinating Committee has found unity as expressed in the following guidelines:
Minute of the YPCC regarding requests for lists of youth-workers (July 2015):
The Pacific Yearly Meeting Youth Programs Coordinator (YPC) and Youth Programs Coordinating Committee (YPCC) continue to be available to consult with groups in PacYM on developing safe, reliable, well-known and well-prepared adults to work with youth (“youth-workers”) whose interests and abilities match the specific program needs. The Committee believes that, due to the broad geographic span of PacYM, widely differing program needs, and the necessity for frequent updates, any lists of potential youth-workers should be developed and maintained by those groups or programs at their own local levels. The YPC and YPCC will not provide a general or central list of youth-workers, nor certify the qualifications of potential youth-workers. While the YPC will continue keeping a working list of numerous individuals in PacYM who play roles in youth programs, that list is an internal resource for the work of the YPC and YPCC, not for circulation.
Caveats and Rationale:
- Pacific Yearly Meeting spans three countries and three US states. The YPC Committee’s objective is to assist local communities to draw on local resources rather than to produce a generic, sometimes outdated central list.
- The Committee will continue to administer criminal background checks at the request of a PacYM program and with the permission of the person being checked.
- The Committee will also continue to verify participation in its “Adult Allies to Youth” workshops with the caveat that participation in this workshop does not necessarily mean the person is qualified or recommended.
- Information provided by the Committee on potential youth-workers should not be a substitute for personal knowledge, reference checks and other forms of discernment or outreach in the Good Order of Friends. We strongly recommend that selection of youth-workers for PacYM activities be in compliance with any pertinent current policies, such as the PacYM Abuse Prevention Policy.
- Upon request, the YPC and YPCC members may serve as references for individual applicants –in their own private capacities and at their own discretion– but are not expected to do so as part of their duties.
- Reference Material: PacYM Child Abuse Prevention Policy
A fuller explanation of the discernment that led to this minute is in an appendix in the YPCC 2015 report to Annual Session.