«SUBJECT: CHILD ABUSE PREVENTION AND SAFETY POLICY INTRODUCTION The main objective of this policy is to provide a safe environment for the children ...»
Complete records are to be kept for each Sunday School class, Junior Church, Nursery/Toddler or other group activities. These records are to include the names and ages of children, addresses, telephone numbers and parent name(s). Parental permission must be sought to allow the Church to record health card numbers and any other pertinent medical information such as allergies, asthma, etc. that leaders should know. As well, an emergency contact person(s) should be recorded if possible.
An accurate sign-in procedure will be maintained for each child in the Nursery/Toddler department. The child’s name, parent name (s) and parent location during the service or meeting shall be recorded. Special needs of a child should be noted on the sign-in sheet.
Attendance records for Nursery/Toddler area, Junior Church, Sunday School classes and other group activities are to be maintained and signed by the person recording the information. The names of the leaders/volunteers are also to be listed for each occasion.
At the end of each season all records will be transferred to the office files in their ORIGINAL form. These files will be kept for a period of 30 years.
10.06 Restrooms Parents are encouraged to take their children to the washroom prior to the beginning of the service. Should a child need to go to the washroom during the service, parents/guardian are encouraged to go with the child. If parents/guardian believe the child is old enough to go to the washroom without an adult they should send two older children together. Parents/Guardians must take the responsibility of monitoring their children.
Sunday School teachers and group leaders of children under the age of 10 are encouraged to have the whole class stop at the washroom on the way to the class/meeting room. Teachers/Leaders of children over the age of 10 are asked to send the children in pairs to the washroom when washroom visits are required.
10.07 Group Activities (On Church Property) There will be no less than 2 adult leaders present in all group activities for children. Because of the nature of the programs and the diversity in activities that may be happening at one time, it is suggested there be additional adult volunteers for special activities when required.
Programs for junior and senior high school youth will have a minimum of 2 adult volunteers. Additional volunteers should be obtained as the group grows to spread the needs of the program over a greater number of volunteers.
If required Leaders are not present the scheduled event must be cancelled.
Record of attendance must be maintained as outlined in the section “Record Keeping” - page 8.
10.08 Off Church Property Activities (field trips, parties, hiking, sports, etc.) Programs encourage groups to go outside of the Church building to enhance the curriculum being taught. When these events are planned, additional supervision considerations are required.
(a) Groups where children are all of the same gender must have a minimum of 2 leaders of the same gender as the children.
(b) Groups, which are co-ed, must have adequate adult supervision. This would include regular leaders, other approved leaders and/or parents of the children - a minimum of 2 adult female and 2 adult male supervisors is suggested.
Supervisors should not be from the same household. Parents helping with the event are not required to complete the Children’ Ministry Information Form.
(Also see section 6.05 above, page 3) (c) For Church activities off the property, a notice will be printed in the Church bulletin two (2) weeks prior to the event and/or notices mailed or sent to homes.
Children who attend unaccompanied by an adult shall be asked for their phone numbers for contact in case of an emergency.
(d) When outings involve transportation out of the city, consent forms are required from a parent/guardian for all children under the age of 15 years. The leaders are required to post a list of the drivers’ names, vehicle licence number and the names of children in each vehicle. This information is to be posted on a bulletin board in the Church Fellowship Hall until everyone has returned to the city.
Once a child has been assigned to a vehicle, he/she is not to switch vehicles.
Copy of Consent Form is attached, marked appendix “D”.
(e) Parties held in homes must provide additional non-related adult supervision while the children are present in the home.
10.09 Sick Children Children who are not feeling well should not be received into the nursery/toddler area or classrooms. Signs of illness are unusual fatigue or irritability, coughing, sneezing, runny nose and eyes, vomiting, diarrhoea, complaining of sore ears or throat, evidence of a rash, etc. Children with these or similar symptoms should be returned to their parent(s) or guardian.
Workers/volunteers are not to give or apply any medication to children except for bandages for minor cuts/abrasions or ice packs for bumps. If a child needs medication, the parent must administer it. No medication will be left in the nursery/toddler area or classroom with the following exception: children who carry inhalers for asthma or medication for serious allergies.
In the event an older child (over the age of 12) who is diabetic requires sugar, hard candies will be kept on hand in the appropriate area and one candy may be given to the diabetic child while the parent/guardian is called.
Emergency procedures in the event of a fire will be reviewed semi-annually and when new volunteers come on board. Volunteers will be trained in these procedures. Evacuation procedures are to be posted in each meeting/classroom area.
First Aid boxes will be kept on hand and all volunteers are to review their locations and contents in the early fall and early spring. Volunteers for summer activities will review the locations and contents of the First Aid kits as part of their program preparation.
10.11 Volunteer Behaviour Volunteers should always be above reproach in their words and conduct. They are to behave in a Godly manner, demonstrating Christian conduct, respect, honesty and trustworthiness.
All volunteers must fill out and keep up-to-date a Any Baptist Church “Application For Service” Form. (i.e. address, phone number, etc.) These forms are to be reviewed annually by the Christian Education Committee.
Workers must not be involved in any of the following activities with older children: extended hugging, kissing, sitting on lap, be alone with a child or inappropriate touching.
In the event a child approaches an adult leader with the intent to hug or kiss, or unexpectedly does so, the adult leader should accept the affection, but should quickly as possible, in a non-rejecting manner, encourage a more appropriate form of physical contact. Appropriate expressions for ages 0-3 include picking up the child, comforting the child, holding the hand of the child. Appropriate physical contact for ages 4+ could include a handshake, pat on the back, quick hug of encouragement with hands on the shoulder area and a ‘high five’.
Workers must model kindness, be calm, set age-appropriate limits and teach children to solve problems with words. Under no circumstances may children be humiliated, neglected, slapped or spanked.
Volunteers who are not feeling well should not lead a group of children.
Notification to the Sunday School Superintendent or an alternate leader on the spare list, should be made as soon as possible so a replacement is on duty to assist in the supervision and/or instruction of children. If advance notification is not possible last minute adjustments will be required by the Sunday School Superintendent or other available leaders. It may be necessary to have the group meet in a high traffic area where others can check on the group without interrupting the session.
11.12 Staff and Volunteer Support
It is our goal, not only to provide for safety of our children and youth, but also to support and provide, to the best of our ability, a system of procedures that will protect the staff and volunteers from being falsely accused of wrongful acts. This is
(a) Screening potential leaders to determine where a volunteer would be best suited to use their gifts, abilities, interests, and experiences.
(b) Providing leadership development that will further prepare the volunteer for leadership within a group or class.
(c) Adhere to the Procedures in section 10.0 to 10.11 - Safety Procedures.
(e) Providing coverage for all staff and volunteers under the Any Baptist Church Insurance Policy with periodic reviews to ensure the Policy covers all the areas of our Church Ministry.
12.0 Reporting Accidents/Injuries Occasionally during the course of programs, both in the Church or off-site activities, injury(s) can occur. These may be minor or major in nature. After appropriate assistance has been given to the injured child or leader, a written “Accident Investigation Report” is to be completed by the group leader or appropriate person from the Church leadership staff. A description of the accident, contributing factors and treatment given should be noted. Witnesses to the accident should be listed with addresses and phone numbers for follow-up purposes.
The Christian Education Committee should review the “Accident Investigation Report”. A member(s) of the C. E. Committee should be appointed to investigate the accident and bring recommendations back to the C.E. Committee to prevent, as much as possible, a reoccurrence of the accident. These files are to be kept in the Church office for future reference. A copy of the “Accident Investigation Report” is attached. See Appendix “C”. Blank forms are to be kept in a location that is always accessible.