12 Safety and Security Measures You Should Tell Parents About – A Guest Post from Dale Hudson
Safety and security has moved up to being one of the most important things a children’s ministry must be about.
We see and hear about shootings almost weekly. They can happen anywhere and at any time. Whereas years ago, no one would have dreamed there would be shootings and violent acts even at churches.
In today’s culture, if you want to see your children’s ministry and church grow, then you must make safety and security a top priority. Parents are very hesitant to place their children in an environment that doesn’t look or feel safe.
So let’s play out a scenario. A new family just walked through your doors. They have a 3rd grader and a preschooler. They are feeling a little jittery about leaving their children with strangers, even if it is a church.
As you greet them and start the check-in process, you can tell they are a little nervous about leaving their kids. They obviously want to know they will be safe and secure in your care.
So what should you say? How are you going to reassure them their children are in safe hands? Let’s look at 12 things you can tell them.
- We have a check-in and check-out system that keeps anyone else from picking up your children (I recommend using KidCheck for this).
- Every volunteer has been through a background check, personal interview, and training.
- No child is every alone with just one person. There is always at least 2 people with them.
- We have a safety and security team that monitors the areas.
- We have a police officer in our children’s area to assist should anything arise.
- Only ladies change diapers.
- There are cameras in every area to help monitor what is happening.
- Once the service starts, we lock down the children’s areas.
- There is a window in each classroom so you can look inside at any time and see what is happening.
- We have a lockdown and evacuation plan.
- Here is a pager. We will page you if your child needs you. If your child starts crying, how long should we let him/her cry before we page you?
- Bathroom policy. If your child has to go to the bathroom, we will check the bathroom to make sure it is clear. We will then stand outside the door and wait for your child to finish.
When I say let new families know about these things, you obviously won’t have the time to share in detail about all 12 safety measures. Pick out 3-4 to share with new families as you are checking them in and walking them to the classroom What should the 3-4 be? That’s something you and your team will have to figure out based on what your greatest needs are.
Personally, I recommend sharing #1, #2, #3 and #8 for sure. The remaining safety measures can be shared at your discretion. Just remember if you verbally try to tell the family all 12 safety measures, they will only remember a few anyways. One thing you can do is put them all in writing on a small card and place it with the guest’s materials that you hand them or mail to them the following week.
Again, I want to emphasize how important it is to do this. The safety of their children is one of the deciding factors that determines if a guest family returns.
Remember, your goal is to make guests feel as comfortable as possible. It’s hard to focus on the message that is being shared if you are worrying about the safety of your child the entire time.
Your turn, what else do you share about safety and security with guest families? Did I leave anything out that you feel is important? Share your thoughts, ideas, and insight in the comment section below.