What I'm Thinking About
We all want kids to come to Christ. We want to create environments that are welcoming and engaging. We want to play games that are challenging and fun. We want to develop a curriculum that is cutting edge. These are all great. They are important. They are necessary. I'm not thinking about those things today, though. I'm thinking about keeping our kids safe. I'm thinking about keeping our environments, games, curriculum, workers safe. We have to continually revisit our policies regarding volunteers and procedures as we work with kids.
We have to make sure that we have proper procedures in place. We must put safety as a top priority. It never goes away. It never is unimportant.
I would recommend a few things to help keep our kids safe.
- Make sure you have church-wide policies in place for:
- Selecting and screening volunteers
- Procedures in classrooms regarding discipline
- A social media policy
- Handling cases of misconduct
- Classroom management
This is not an exhaustive list. However, it is a few items to consider. You want to also look at your rooms. Are they age-appropriate?
One of the resources I want to share today is to make sure that you speak to your church's attorney and board regarding all policies. Make sure they are all approved.
You also want to consult your church's insurance agency. They may have input into background checks and policies. You also want to review your policies and make sure that they cover what you need.
We work with Church Mutual, and they are always beneficial in making sure we have policies in place that will help us keep our kids, campers, workers safe.
They have excellent materials to help churches. Here are a few:
A critical video you should watch is Key Liability Risks for Religious Organizations by Richard Hammar. Watch it here
Finally, I can't recommend more highly the Ranger Safety course developed by the National Royal Rangers. It is only $10, and every church can benefit by sending key leaders through this course. There are nine lessons with quizzes. It is excellent. Check it out here