Steps to Develop Child Safety Protection Guidelines:

I. Establish Proper Child Safety Policies and Procedures for the Local Church

Have an attorney review these for compliance with local and state laws. Check with your insurance company for policy guidelines.

Children’s Ministries International recommends the following resources:

Safe Kids, a notebook and CD that gives information about volunteer screening, safety precautions, signs of abuse, and other issues. The CD allows you to personalize the forms for your own church. The book/CD is available from Beacon Hill Press. ISBN: 083-412-0852. Call 800-877-0700.

Crisis Manual for Christian Schools and Youth Workers by Sandy J. Austin. ISBN: 13:978-0-8341-2310-6. This book gives step-by-step instructions for developing plans to have in case an emergency occurs—field trip accident, violent intruder, weather emergencies, etc.

II. Implement Screening Procedures of All Volunteers Who May Come in Contact with Children or Youth

This includes volunteers, pastors, office staff, custodians, and any persons consistently in the building where children meet.
Screening may include such steps as:

  • • An employment or volunteer application
  • • Use of a screening form
  • • Reference Checks
  • • A criminal records check
  • • Photo identification of the person (i.e. driver’s license)
  • • Six–Month Waiting Period Rule (Individuals should attend a church for at least six months before applying to work with children.)
  • • Personal Interview

III. Develop Guidelines for Volunteer Supervision

  • • Establish proper policies and procedures for volunteers. (Consider policies and procedures for both on–site and off–site the church property. Ask volunteers to agree to follow these policies and procedures.)
  • • Provide current training for all volunteers and leaders.
  • • Provide adequate supervision at all times.
  • • Enforce the Two–Adult rule and buddy system (recommend at least one over the age of 21).
  • • Provide windows in all classrooms or doors.
  • • Workers are not to spank, shake, hit, grab, or otherwise physically discipline a child.

IV. Develop Proper Reporting Policies and Procedures and Understand Reporting Obligations in Your State

Designate one person as the church reporter. This person should be knowledgeable about all types of abuse, reporting policies, and procedures.

V. Consult These and Other Available Resources

Sample Document: No liability is assumed by those who have prepared or distibuted this material. All material, policies, and procedures should be reviewed by a competent attorney before implementing.