The best way to protect kids is to be proactive about safety and security with plans, preparation, policies, and training.
We take kids' safety very seriously, and know that it always needs to be at the forefront of our minds.
Here are some of our safety policies and procedures. For more details, download our children's ministry handbook HERE.
One of the biggest threats to a church is child abuse. The best way to prevent child abuse is to be proactive in informing and training and screening our volunteers. We require all children's ministry volunteers to undergo a national criminal background check every two years, fill out a volunteer application.
Here are more of our protection policies, as described in our handbook.
Child Protection Policies
I. We take certain safety precautions to help protect our children, families, and our church and volunteers.
Screening: The volunteer screening process includes a volunteer application, an extensive criminal background check, a meeting with the children’s pastor, a 3 month required church attendance (6 months for supervisors), and required training sessions for all children’s ministry volunteers.
Background Checks – All volunteers will undergo a background check in order to serve in the children’s ministry; background checks are valid for 2 years. No one will be able to serve unless they pass the national criminal background check. No one can serve in any area of the children’s ministry if he/she has a record of sexual abuse of any kind, or any other violent crimes. If any red flags are apparent on a person’s background check, that person must pass the approval of 3 people: 1) Children’s Pastor, 2) The Local Board of Administration, 3) The Senior Pastor or Executive Pastor, in order to serve in any capacity of the children’s ministry.
II. Safe Environment
These policies make it more difficult for abuse to occur and make it easier to refute false accusations.
a. Two-Adult Rule – a minimum of two non-related adults must be in a room with children at all times.
b. Open Door Policy – a door must have a see-through window, or the door must remain open at all times.
c. Bathroom Policy – no adult is to be alone in a bathroom with a child at any time.
d. 6-Month Policy – all supervisors must have attended the church for at least 6 months.
e. Teacher/Child Ratios – nursery 1/5; preschool 1/9; elementary 1/16
f. Volunteer Identification – all children’s ministry volunteers must wear a lanyard, shirt, or name tag identifying themselves as volunteers.
g. Training in Appropriate Touch vs. Inappropriate Touch
h. Security Guard – a trained general security guard will be on duty to patrol the church grounds and especially the children’s ministry area during children’s services.
III. Defining and Reporting Abuse – Church leaders are mandatory reporters, which means if you suspect child abuse, you must report it.
a. First Step – Report to the Children’s Pastor.
IV. Accidents, Emergencies, and Security
a. Medical Emergencies/First Aid – trained CPR and First Aid Certified leaders will be available during every service, and a First Aid Kit will be available in every area of children’s ministry. For instructions, see Emergency Action Plan.
b. Must Fill out an Incident Report for all accidents or incidents that occur.
c. For weather emergencies, intruder emergencies, and fire emergencies, see Emergency Action Plan.
d. Check-In System – Our Check-in system exists to ensure that children are picked up by the correct parents/guardians. All kids must be checked in and out following our procedures. Kids will not be released until the parent/guardian has turned in a claim card, matching the child's.
There is a walkie-talkie in every room, as well as with our security person, the Children's Pastor, and a representative from the main church sanctuary, and the walkie-talkies will be on during every service, so that our leadership team can clearly and quickly communicate in case of emergencies.
Social Networking and Media Policy
Sickness and Health Policy
Including Tornado, Fire, Bomb, Intruder, Medical, and Earthquake emergencies
On Site Medical Team - we have a team of nurses, as well as volunteers and staff who are CPR certified, First Aid certified, and trained on AED, who are available at every service.
Children are a Gift
kidmin leader, mother, and servant of the Lord.
These are the views of Lynne Howard, and are not necessarily the views and opinions of any church.