In this episode, I speak with Josh Navey, children’s pastor at Summit. He is involved in ministering to the children of Summit, from birth to the fourth grade level.
Three different kinds of child safety are discussed in this episode:
- Physical Safety at Church from Intruders
- Sexual Abuse Prevention
- Safety from Natural Disasters and Fire
Child abuse is the #1 reason that churches are taken to court.
Having a child safety policy in place, even if you are a small church, is important. Look online for child safety policies. In some cases, if insurance companies see that you have a policy in place, it could affect your rates positively, depending on what that policy is.
Two important things to enforce when allowing workers to interact with the children:
- Background checks on all workers 18 years and older. Accufax and other companies can do background checks for you. Make sure these checks are updated every 3-5 years. Be aware that there are rules on how the background check reports can be stored properly; the company you choose to run the checks should be able to help you so this properly.
- 2 adult rule: No one is ever left alone with any child/children. Even if there is only one child needing care, two adults must accompany at all times.
Consider the design of your building and how it affects child safety. Some recommendations include:
- Making sure every full door has a window in it.
- Using Dutch style doors that keep the children in, keep those outside fenced away from the children, but allow visual access to the room is a great practice.
Also, have a secure system for making sure each child is reunited with the correct adult.
How can parents work to keep their children safe?
- Serve in the children’s ministry!
- Teach kids about their bodies.
- Joyfully honor and respect the rules in place at your church. Be aware that lacking a cheerful spirit in doing so says that the workers enforcing the rules care more about your child’s welfare than you do.
To prepare for an emergency situation like an active shooter intruding, a natural disaster, or a fire, make sure that each room is equipped with a map detailing an exit plan. Make sure that the workers know that it is there.