One of the very best things we can do in our ministries is to create a safe place for kids when they’re with us. Yes, we want environments where kids can have conversation in confidence when that is needed, but that’s not what I’m talking about. Our actual environments need to be safe. We have to have a place where parents know and feel that their kids will be happy and whole when they come back to pick them up.

I wrote a post a few weeks about about this very issue, but from a slightly different perspective on the Lead Small Blog. Yes, if our environments aren’t safe, families won’t come back. We all get that. But sometimes perception is reality. You may have a safe environment and your volunteers might follow all the procedures, but there is a perception issue that is going to trip up some of your families. It’s important to recognize that our culture is becoming more and more skeptical and what may have worked five years ago doesn’t anymore.

These things should be included in your volunteer handbook and volunteers should be trained and oriented around your procedures. If you don’t have a volunteer manual, YOU NEED ONE NOW! Don’t worry, you don’t have to reinvent the wheel. Simply take what is already out there and modify it for your own use. I’m pretty sure there was only one original manual and everyone else has copied and adjusted from there. I’ve got a few on this blog… feel free to take a look and borrow as much as you’d like.

What policies have you had to change recently to make your environment safer or even have the appearance of being safer?