Quality practice in Forest and Nature Schools recommends using an Informed Consent Form rather than a waiver.
An Informed Consent does not ask parents to sign away their children’s right to legal redress in the event of an injury. An Informed Consent offers parents and guardians an opportunity to learn more about a program and actively engage in weighing the risks and benefits of outdoor risky play. Through this process educators and parents begin a trusting and communicative relationship. They are aligned in understanding the value of outdoor play and learning, and aware of the risks inherent in children’s active risky play. In the case of an incident, a parent will have acknowledged they were aware of the risks, which offers some protection to educators in outdoor play programs.
This form is intended to be shared with every parent before their child participates in a program. If they agree to the child’s participation, they sign the form and return it to you.
Reflective Sharing Experience:
Read through the Informed Consent Document and consider these questions:
What would you like to articulate about your view of the child as capable and curious?
How would you share the value of outdoor risky play experiences?
What risks would you outline for your program?