As a Kid-Safe
Certified© Church Sunrise adheres to the following
Child Protection Policies…
We promise to maintain a written list of our Child Protection Policies, and to make these policies available to any parent or volunteer working with children.
In an effort to have every leader operating under the exact same guidelines, and so that parents are not surprised at how a situation is handled, our Child Protection Policies are written and available to everyone who asks. These policies give everyone a common point of reference. Here they are…
We promise to present children with age appropriate consequences rather than punishment, and carefully follow discipline guidelines.
Our leaders are consistent with classroom rules and the enforcement of any rules, they do not show favorites, nor do they vary standards between children. Leaders are trained to give clear direction of acceptable and unacceptable behaviours along with clear consequences before ever asking a child to submit to the consequences. Praising positive behaviours, using eye contact, using a quiet, firm, and non-threatening voice, redirecting behaviour, and age appropriate “time-outs” are all acceptable consequences to inappropriate behaviour.
It is not acceptable to ever hit, slap, spank, shake, or squeeze a child. It is abusive for any leader to ever yell, scream, scare, or talk loudly to a child out of anger, frustration, or ever disappointment. We will never single out a lone child in a large group and force them to be the centre of extended negative attention (although a quick correction may be necessary even in a larger group setting). “Time-out” chairs are utilized only where the leader can see the child and the child sees the activity that he/she is missing, and the chair is placed in a location other than where the other children are to be looking.
We promise to complete criminal record background checks of all regular volunteers and have each one involved with on-going training for full Kid-Safe Certification©.
Every person who is a regular Children’s Ministry Volunteer has had this very important background check performed. As a Christian organization we have the highest standard of practice and the highest level of expectations. No volunteer will be allowed to work with children if a criminal background reveals that they may pose a threat to children. We cannot promise that every Children’s Ministry Volunteer is Kid-Safe Certified© as this is a process, but we know that they are all moving toward this goal and that they have already had the criminal record check done.
Volunteers must work with our Children’s Ministry for a full year before they can be Kid-Safe Certified©. Kid-Safe Certified© volunteers have proven track records, are well known by their supervisors, and have been cleared through criminal record background checks.
We promise to release pre-school children only to those who have been authorized by the parent, and release all children at the time parents expect them to be released.
Pre-school aged children will only be released to an adult who has been authorized to receive the child. Parents will be expected to “sign-in” when they drop off their child and “sign-out” when they pick up their child. If a different person is expected to pick up the child, please notify the appropriate Children’s Ministry Volunteer at time of “sign-in” to make arrangements.
Parents of school-aged children can choose to be present at the time and place where the children are dismissed, or allow the child to make their way to a specified meeting place.
We promise to use volunteers in teaching positions only if their lifestyle is consistent with the beliefs of the church.
As a Christian organization we have a responsibility to model biblical principles and values to our children. All volunteers are believed to be worthy examples for the children. Should an issue of lifestyle or questionable habit occur, the appropriate steps will be taken as determined by the leadership of Sunrise and the Children’s Ministry.
We promise to follow careful bathroom and changing procedures.
Diapering will only be done in designated areas with others close by. Diapering areas will be disinfected after a child is changed and between changing children. Hands will be washed after each child is changed and between changing children.
Bathroom doors will remain open when assisting toddlers. If multiple stalls, the outside door will remain open. If a child who is school age needs assistance using the bathroom, the parent will be contacted and arrangements will be made directly with the parent.
Leaders will wait outside stall or bathroom door for the child unless assistance is required while in the bathroom and will always wash hands after diapering or assisting in the bathroom. All children will wash hands before leaving bathroom.
We promise to monitors hallways, stairways, entrances and exits for people who have no reason to be present, and we will report all suspicious activity to authorities immediately.
We take safety and security seriously—without exception. If ever we err, it will be on the safe side of caution.
We promise to clearly identify all children’s ministry volunteers and further identify Kid-Safe Certified© volunteers with the Kid-Safe logo on their name badge.
Parents have a right to know exactly who is working with their child. They need to know clearly who is in charge, who to leave instructions with, and who is accepting responsibility for their children. Every volunteer will be clearly identified with a name badge. Before the Kid-Safe Certified© logo is printed on their name badge, we make sure the volunteer meets all qualifications.
Once the volunteer has completed the requirements for Kid-Safe Certification© they will have the logo on their name badge. This helps identify the volunteers who are the top children’s leaders in our church.
Remember – If a volunteer does not have the Kid-Safe logo it means they are in the process of Certification but not fully certified. We know they are great with children or we would hot have them there. They are simply in need of one or two items before certification (they may be waiting for a training session, first-aid certificate or for other minor details). Since Sunrise is a new church, we will need to be in operation for a full year before any children’s worker can be certified.
We promise to encourage appropriate physical contact.
Children’s Ministry Volunteers are encouraged not to become “paranoid” about appropriately touching children. Physical touch is an important part of human interaction and meeting the needs of children. Volunteers are encouraged to give a child a “five” on the hand or a “high five”, shake hands, or use gentle touches to shoulders, arms, and the upper back. These are acceptable. Children’s workers will always respond warmly to hugs that are child-initiated, but will not go asking for hugs or kisses—regardless of age. A brief casual hug including two or three light pats to the back is the only appropriate response to a child-initiated hug. The hug must be initiated by the child, and hands should not rub or rest on the child.
Sitting a child on your lap is very appropriate, but only with children under school age—without exception.
We promise to keep children’s areas clean and sanitary.
We will ensure that areas children use are clean before use and cleaned again after use. Toys and equipment used by younger children will be disinfected regularly to minimize any health risks.
We promise to keep children in designated children’s areas that are accessible by parents.
Parents can find their child at any given moment and should feel welcome to visit—nothing hidden! We maintain an open door policy with parents. Children will be kept in an age-appropriate area designed to be safely used by children.
If children are to be kept in a location other than where they are normally kept or if they are to be taken outdoors, parents will be notified and given the opportunity to keep their child with them. If taken outside adult supervision will be increased, and children will not be taken near busy streets.
We promise to always have a minimum of two volunteers working in rooms with pre-school children.
Pre-school children need more attention. Plus, there are times that in an emergency a leader may need to leave the room with a child, and pre-school children will not be left unattended even for a moment.
We promise to never have only one adult working alone with one child behind closed doors.
We never leave one adult in a room alone with a child—for the protection of our children and volunteers. We never want any actual or alleged abuse of any kind and we will not put our children or volunteers in a position where this is even a possibility.
There are times that children require personal and even confidential attention from our adult volunteers. Private meetings are always best handled in plain view or others… then there are no questions asked and we are able to abstain from even all appearance of evil. For privacy and confidentiality we may meet alone with a child, but we always remain in plain view of others although perhaps at a distance so that the child can speak freely. When meeting in an office or classroom with one child, the door is left wide open.
Parents are invited to peek in anytime. Feel free to surprise us often because we are confident that you will not be surprised by inappropriate behaviour! Sometimes frequent visits to younger groups of children can be disruptive. If this happens, please talk with the leader for recommendations on how you can see what is happening without causing a disturbance.
Sometimes children will have solo-leaders, but only if they are leading school-aged children in a group.
Kid-Safe Certification © KJM 2001
Sunrise is a Kid-Safe Certified © Church. Policies are adapted from Kid-Safe Certification © and The 7 Simple Steps to Security by Kevin J. Matthews. Used by permission. For more information, contact Kevin J. Matthews at 945 St. George Blvd, Moncton, NB, Canada, E1E 2C9 (506) 857-2293.
All rights reserved. No part of this program may be reproduced in any manner whatsoever without written permission from the author, except where noted in the text, and is for use only in the local church of the original purchaser.