Here are 3 tips to create a safe environment for children with special needs in your ministry or church:
- Make sure you have your volunteers get background checks! It is important for anyone working with kids to have a background check.
- Recruit enough volunteers to have at least a 1 to 5 ratio. At CentriKid we require a 1 adult for every 5 children ratio. This helps chaperones be able to monitor their kids well and to ultimately keep them safe! The same applies when working with children with special needs. It is is best to have the smallest amount of children per adult as possible. This may not always be feasible but a one to one ratio is ideal when working with children with special needs.
- Have someone close by who knows CPR. Choking hazards are a safety issue with all kids, but especially with children that have special needs. In order to create the safest environment for these kids, be sure to recruit someone who is CPR certified. If you are having trouble finding a volunteer who is CPR certified, take a class to get certified! This will be useful for you, not only when working with children with special needs, but with wherever you serve. Also scan your Sunday school room or classroom for small toys or items that could be easy for children to choke on. This will ensure that your Sunday School room is a safe environment with children with special needs.
- The safest environment is a loving environment. Make your ministry is a safe environment not only physically but emotionally!