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Volunteers from Overseas

If a church is going to receive help from volunteers from overseas, for example as part of a mission activity, you should try as far as possible to apply the same principles as you would in appointing a worker locally. We recommend that the church follows the following procedures whenever using volunteers from overseas.

Before the volunteer arrives in the UK:
  • Each volunteer should complete and return a form similar to the church’s normal application form for volunteer workers

  • The sending church or organisation should be asked to obtain declarations from their local police force that there is no known reason why the volunteer cannot work with children or young people. In obtaining this information, you will need to be aware that not all countries work to the same standards for their criminal records and so the information you see may not match with the UK standard

Request each volunteer to supply two relevant and appropriate references regarding their suitability for work with children and young people (click here for further information on obtaining references). The church should follow up those references.
  • Once the volunteer or team has arrived in the UK and before they start work with children and young people, as part of the orientation and induction programme, the volunteers should be introduced to the church’s safeguarding policy and procedures.

Please note that these procedures apply only when those from overseas will be working with children and young people from the UK. If adults from overseas only have responsibility for children and young people that they bring with them in their own party, these procedures will not need to be followed.

A group from the USA comes to the UK in order to help a church run their holiday club. The holiday club runs for a week and the Americans take responsibility for leading the programme of teaching. The work they are taking part in is regulated activity and for a period which meets the intensity criteria. They are working with children from the UK; therefore the procedures outlined above should be followed.

A young people’s choir visits the UK from Russia. They tour and perform in a number of churches over a three week period. Because the leaders of the group only take responsibility for the young people they bring from Russia the procedures outlined above will not need to be followed.
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