The policies and guidelines contained in this handbook have been written to provide information and guidance to youth ministry leaders of the Archdiocese of New York. It is a resource to assist adult leaders in forming sound practices and judgments in the various aspects of their ministry. The policies and procedures are not intended primarily to limit activities; rather, they direct youth ministry leaders to develop and take necessary measures to ensure the safety of the young people in their groups and activities and minimize risks to their well-being.
This manual is in no way a replacement for the archdiocesan Safe Environment Policy Manual. It is a supplement. The Safe Environment Policy Manual needs to be read first, in its entirety. This handbook contains both archdiocesan policies, such as those related to safe environment, and guidelines. Policies in this manual are highlighted in red while best practices are highlighted in blue. Adult leaders ministering under the auspices of the Catholic Church in this archdiocese must comply with all policies regardless of what program they are running (for example, LifeTeen, YDisciple) or what ministry/order (for example, CYFM, PTAF, Sale- sian) the parish might be affiliated with. Addenda and updates to policies will be distributed directly to the pastors who are responsible for adult leaders ministering to youth.
By following these provisions and the spirit in which they are written, adults who lead youth ministry demonstrate their good faith and their intention to minister ethically, responsibly and within the bounds of the law.