I’ve been told by some that the Children’s Ministry of North Point doesn’t have an official policy that they hand to their volunteers, but they embrace conversations around what volunteers should and shouldn’t do. Regardless, I know very few ministries that run a more efficient/effective ministry to kids. Several years ago, Kendra Flemming posted this on the Inside Northpoint blog concerning policies and procedures. If you’re writing your own policy manual, be sure to read the content below. You’ll find many policy manuals that have this kind of information, but this post gives more of they “why” behind the items that need to be in your policy manual. Click here to read the actual post and see the comments this post generated.
We take time twice a year to communicate our evacuation plan to volunteers and parents in case of an emergency on Sunday. There is also a map on the wall by the door of each classroom with the emergency exit route, along with a red bag containing everything you need to execute the emergency evacuation plan.
We ask that our volunteers never enter the bathroom alone with a child. Always stand out in the hall and wait for them. If a child in your small group needs a bathroom break, enlist your coach or greeter to walk them to the bathroom.
If a preschooler needs to use the bathroom, we stand with our leg in the door and our body outside the bathroom. Our preschool bathrooms are located in the classroom so there are always multiple adults in the room. If a young child needs help with zippers and snaps, we help them in the open doorway of the bathroom.
There must be at least two adults in the classroom before checking in any children. No one is ever to be alone with a child.
If a child is injured in a classroom, we ask that volunteers let their coach know exactly what happened. We then take a full incident report and communicate the injury clearly to parents.
These are readily available to our volunteers and placed throughout the children’s ministry environments. Coaches communicate to their teams the closest first-aid kit locations.
Planning Outside Events for your Small Group (elementary-age children)
We recognize the value of small groups spending time together outside of Sunday morning. These guidelines are not to hinder our leaders, but to help protect them and the kids in their small groups.
- Please discuss with your coach what you would like to do with your kids before planning the event.
- Every outside event must be approved by your coach and the UpStreet Staff.
- Children must be dropped off and picked up by their parents. Please do not drive children to any location.
- Please have another non-related adult (other than your spouse) present at the event.
- Permission forms (which we have available for you) must be filled out for every child present at the event.
We also have procedures for lost children, sickness, or a stranger on the hall. When executed successfully, you should never really feel the presence of strict rules and regulations. They should be the systems operating behind the scenes, contributing to a safe and secure environment for all of your kids.