By Brad Shrum
In a continuation of church safety, today I’m going to focus on Children & Youth Church Safety Issues. After a church sets up its Safety Team, the next step is to reach each arm of the church ministry team and implement safety features that are specifically targeted to these ministry areas.
Here are six points to providing safety in these two vital church areas:
- Selection of Workers – Screening includes a six-month rule, written application, personal interview, reference checks, and criminal background checks.
- Two Adult Rule - Do not allow minors to be alone with one adult on the premises or in any sponsored activity unless in a counseling situation.
- Responding to Allegations of Child Abuse - For purposes of this policy, “child abuse” is any action (or lack of action) that endangers or harms a child’s physical, psychological or emotional health and development. Child abuse occurs in different ways.
- Open Door Policy - Classroom doors should remain open unless there is a window beside it. Doors should never be locked while persons are inside the room.
- Teenage Workers - Must be at least age 14, screened as above, and must never be alone with children.
- Check-in/Check-Out procedure – For children below third grade, a security check-in/check-out procedure should be followed. The child will be signed in by a parent or guardian, who will receive a “child check” for the child similar to a claim check. The parent or guardian must present the “child check” in order to sign out the child from our care. In the event that a parent or guardian is unable to present the “child check,” the children’s ministry minister should be contacted to determine releasing the child to the care of a parent or guardian after discussing the surrounding circumstances with the parent or guardian.
These tips about Children & Youth Safety are from the GuideOne SafeChurch risk management program, an exclusive benefit for GuideOne church customers. Is your church insured with GuideOne? As a GuideOne policyholder, you may join SafeChurch.com today and access other safety resources.
Attention Kansas City Churches: Are you a member of your congregation’s team that is responsible for choosing insurance for your church? I would love to help you. Contact me direct at 913-754-3823 or firstname.lastname@example.org. I am located in our Overland Park, KS office location and would be happy to meet at your congregation.
Source: © 2010 GuideOne Center for Risk Management, LLC
Location: Overland Park, KS
Brad has worked at MAX for the past 16 years and has over 30 years of experience in the insurance industry doing underwriting, field management work, and sales. Outside of the office, Brad is an ordained Southern Baptist Deacon and a Sunday School teacher of 30 years. In addition, Brad is a long-time Vacation Bible School teacher and has an ongoing 20+ year Nursing Home Ministry. Since he was a young teenager, Brad has been an avid goose hunter, traveling across North America while pursuing this noble bird and enjoying the outdoor world.