Build A Strong Foundation With Safety and Security From KidCheck
Here’s an eBook excerpt from the timeless resource “Technology Spotlight: Children’s Check-In” that shares why building a strong foundation in children’s ministry begins with safety and security in mind.
The eBook highlights information on key topics such as volunteer security – your first line of defense, how to effectively utilize screening processes, a game plan for tracking, managing and responding to medical concerns, welcoming visitors, and the benefits of electronic check-in.
Children’s Ministry Foundation
A strong foundation for children’s ministry strives for excellent safety and security by having a system in place that includes:
- Clearly defined emergency procedures
- A clear process for screening and recruiting volunteers that includes criminal background checks
- Policies that protect children including student-to-teacher ratios, incident reporting, procedures for allergies or medical issues
- A secure area for classrooms that is both self-contained yet visible from the outside
- A check-in system that will only allow authorized guardians to drop off and pick up children
In addition to protecting the church from liability, utilizing an electronic check-in software system provides an easy way to protect children and let parents know that you care about their kids and make safety a priority.
A check-in software system immediately reassures parents, especially newcomers, that you care about that which is most precious to them—their children. It protects children from specific risks, including food allergies, abuse, and even abduction. It helps you to grow your ministry and supports your efforts to serve children. It also helps you track attendance patterns and growth in your ministry.
The best system in the world only works, however, if the staff is trained to use it, and then, actually uses it consistently. A secure check-in system needs to offer the following:
- Accurate records of all children who check-in and check-out
- Assurance that the volunteers working with children are qualified and safe
- Specific and easily viewable information about food allergies or medical issues
- A way to verify the identity of people picking up and dropping off children to the ministry
According to one survey from K! Report (hyperlink: http://kidzmatter.com/kidzmatter-magazine/k-report/), only 37 percent of churches use a children’s check-in software system. While some use a written ledger or attendance list, those systems can easily fail and do not adequately provide enough ways to track and secure children with allergy and medical needs, as well as custody details. Additionally, checking attendance patterns or trends on hand-written systems is cumbersome.
Big or Small, Safety Matters
Even small churches can make their children’s ministry more welcoming and safer by using an electronic children’s check-in system in addition to having clear policies about check-in and check-out.
While your ministry volunteers may know all the parents personally, what happens when a new child comes? Or ten new children show up one Sunday morning? What happens if a child’s parents divorce and only one has custody? What if a child has severe allergies your ministry wasn’t aware of?
If ministry growth is a goal, a check-in system is essential. It not only helps keep track of children who may not yet be familiar to the staff, it makes newcomers feel cared for and secure in leaving their precious kids in your care. It also provides a clear way to track attendance and growth.
Whether your organization is a tiny church, a megachurch, or a church plant, having a plan in place (and making sure everyone follows it) that includes secure check-in procedures will help your ministry to be a safe place for all involved.
Click here to download your free copy of “Technology Spotlight: Children’s Check-In”.