At CentriKid Camps, we promise to provide a safe place for kids physically, emotionally, and spiritually. Parents and kids ministry leaders place a high value on knowing their kids are well taken care of at camp, so we check the recreation fields for pot-holes, we call roll when kids change activities, and every staffer is screened and thoroughly trained. We are serious about safety. At CentriKid, we would make it our number one priority except that sharing the Gospel is why we do what we do.
Here are 5 ways your church can make sure you provide a safe place for kids.
1 – Background check the staff and volunteers. This wasn’t always a common practice, but in this day and age it is negligent not to. Don’t assume anything. Its not offensive, its essential.
2 – Interview your volunteers. This step shouldn’t be viewed as a hurdle or a way to eliminate people, but it can help you as a leader know your volunteers better know your team and determine where they can best fit in your ministry. Bonus: when someone is out sick or you have special events coming up, you can better cover your ministry roles by knowing the various skills and experiences your volunteers have to offer.
3 – Plan for an emergency. Emergencies are unannounced, but you can go ahead and be ready. Have someone on-site at all times who is first-aid certified. Consider providing a first-aid station for minor bumps and scrapes. In the event of a fire or larger event, train volunteers to know the safest ways out of the facility. Revisit these protocols periodically.
4 – Have a sign-in and sign-out procedure. Create a procedure for this and stick to it. The regular attenders may roll their eyes and feel that its an inconvenience at times, but this can be a huge issue for guests at your church. If your ministry hopes to attract new families, this is a great way to provide peace-of-mind for parents visiting your church.
5 – Be alert and be involved. As the leader who shepherds the kids ministry area, you have the awesome opportunity to minister to children, but you also bear the responsibility of watching over them. Without always seeming suspicious, you can stay on guard for things that seem out of place. Be involved with kids, parents, and volunteers as a guide for what is safe and appropriate while under the care of your ministry.
Of all places, the church must provide a safe place for kids. Be proactive about safety measures. Your ministry can flourish as you handle the Gospel effectively and as you earn the trust of parents. We don’t get the opportunity to minister to kids without the trust and approval of the parents.