Many ministries are choosing to slowly phase in their children’s activities. Check in with your volunteer pool as soon as possible to make sure you will be fully staffed. You may find that some may not be ready to resume their roles at this time. If you do find a void, remember that it is important to not only select the right volunteers for the right jobs, but to also screen your volunteers. With some planning and organization, your church can make sure your volunteers are vetted for when your children's ministry resumes.
The screening process helps to protect the safety of everyone involved with your ministry, especially children and youth.
The screening process varies depending on the type of role the volunteer will fill. In the church setting, it is a good idea to perform greater levels of screening on volunteers who interact or work with children, youth, or vulnerable adults. Other volunteers, such as those in a greeter ministry, wouldn’t necessarily receive the same level of screening. To protect your ministry and your volunteers, you are encouraged implement the following steps every time a volunteer will work directly with children or youth.
As normal ministry operations resume, your regular group of volunteers may not immediately return. Ideally, churches will be able to rely on volunteers and staff who have already gone through screening procedures (i.e., application form, reference checks, background check, and interview). At a minimum, churches are encouraged to consider screening volunteers with a background check if feasible, and an application form that asks about criminal history and any prior incidents of abuse or misconduct.
Your ministry may want to update its children’s ministry policies. The following are some special considerations to address:
For a full list of policy considerations, download our free resource Child Protection in a Ministry Environment.
Ministries can help ensure the safety and security of their children and youth with a thorough screening process and enhanced policy considerations. This protects churches and conveys care to the families you’re serving.
Posted May 12, 2020
The information provided in this article is intended to be helpful, but it does not constitute legal advice and is not a substitute for the advice from a licensed attorney in your area. We strongly encourage you to regularly consult with a local attorney as part of your risk management program.
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