United Reformed Church

Children’s and Youth Development Officers (CYDO+s )

There is normally one Children’s and Youth Development Officer (commonly known as a CYDO+s) per synod, usually based at the synod office or working from home.

Some synods have replaced the traditional CYDO+ role with an equivalent under a different job title, some divide the role between two employees, but we will use the term CYDO+ to refer to all of these.

The CYDO+ is a salaried professional who works within the synod to oversee and support the overall work of the synod in relation to children and young people and also supports local churches in this aspect of their ministry and outreach.

What do CYDO+s do?

CYDOs are involved in some of the following areas of work:

  • Advice and consultancy – offering information and guidance on work amongst children and young people in local churches, including questions about good practice, advice on suitable resources, thinking about different approaches to children’s and youth work, etc.
  • Training – organising and delivering a range of training programmes for all those involved in children’s and youth work, including Children’s and Youth Work volunteers, young leaders, safeguarding officers, employed workers, elders and ministers, among others.
  • Offering guidance and support on issues of Child Protection and Safeguarding – in local churches and the wider councils of the United Reformed Church.
  • Events for children and young people in the synod – encouraging, supporting and enabling people to organise events for children and young people across the synod.
  • Children and Youth Friendly Church Scheme – encouraging, enabling and accompanying churches as they engage in the scheme.
  • Supporting and encouraging employed workers and volunteers in their ministry to children, young people and intergenerational groups and gatherings.
  • Contributing to the work of synod committees – especially Children’s and Youth Work committees, Youth Executives and equivalents.
  • Employment of workers – helping local churches with the process of employing a children’s/youth/family worker (from considering the possibility right through to appointing and supporting the worker).
  • Working on whole denomination/assembly level Children’s and Youth Work initiatives for up to approximately 20% of their work time by contributing to the writing of resources, supporting national events, engaging in research, and sharing ideas and resources with the wider team. This includes working with teams across the church to ensure that children and young people are considered and included in all aspects of the church’s plans and decision making.
  • Working alongside others to promote participation of children and young people at all levels of URC life – local churches, in the synod and at whole-denominational level.

Related content

Contact your synod CYDO+

Find out who to contact in your synod about children’s and youth work

United Reformed Church