SEE SOMETHING – SAY SOMETHING
All volunteers in our the Children’s ministry are trained to speak up if they have concerns about any adult, child, or volunteer in the ministry. Each person volunteering is empowered to point out safety concerns.
Volunteers are instructed to speak to their ministry supervisor if they have a concern. The ministry supervisor in Super Church and River Next is Erin Bergeron and the supervisor in the Nursery is Stacy Zimmer.
If a volunteer brings a concern to Stacy or Erin, then Erin and Stacy would follow River’s procedure for handling an accusation or concern.
All volunteers in the children’s ministry are regular attenders at River and agree to be involved in a River small group. Volunteers have been attending River regularly for six months before being involved with the Children’s’ ministry.
All volunteers are screened by the Children’s minister. The screening includes, an application, two personal references, and agreeing to complete a criminal background check.
Participating in the Children’s Ministry as a volunteer is a privilege and not a right. Anyone may be refused the opportunity to serve at the discretion of the children’s minister.
A regular audit of our screening processes is conducted by a staff member who is not involved in the Children’s ministry to ensure that all the screening guidelines are followed.
All volunteers are required to read and abide by the policies outlined in the our Children’s Safety Handbook. Any volunteer who does not follow the guidelines in the handbook will not be allowed to continue serving children at River.
Once a new volunteer is trained regular refresher training is provided to ensure that any new safety policies are followed and all old policies are understood and implemented.
A regular audit of volunteer training is conducted to ensure that all volunteers have completed necessary training.
No child in nursery, Super Church or RiverNext is left unattended during the service times.
All classrooms are visible to parents and the people supervising the Children’s ministry. In Super Church and next rooms have large windows so the whole room is visible.
Cameras are installed in childcare rooms that do not have windows for observation. The monitor for the camera is mounted in a public place and acts as a virtual window to these rooms.
Classrooms always have two people available so that no volunteers is left alone with children. In the event that a volunteer is left alone with a child, the volunteer has been instructed to take the child to a public area or go to a room where other volunteers are present.
The Children’s Minister and Nursery Coordinator are always free to observe and enter any classroom at any time.
Additionally the River Security team (link to Security) patrols the perimeter of the building as well as the children’s area during service to ensure that there are no adults or children in the nursery or Children’s area who should not be there.
The security teams also checks all offices and adult meeting spaces on a random schedule to ensure that no one is in the rooms without authorization.
Bathroom Use and Diapering Children
Children who are potty-trained go to the bathroom alone. An adult will stand outside the closed door of the bathroom and provide assistance only if assistance is requested.
If a bathroom in the children’s area is not occupied the door will be left open.
Only female nursery workers or the child’s parent or legal guardian will undertake the diapering of children of either sex. Changing of diapers is done in plain sight of other nursery workers.
Diaper changing only takes place on the changing tables.
Evacuation procedures are communicated to all the childcare workers and evacuation plans are posted throughout the building.
The Security team have trained and prepared to respond to weather emergencies, fire emergencies, and intruder emergencies.
Regular training of volunteers includes reminding them of emergency procedures as well as updating any new procedures.
Check in and Check Out
All children who come to Nursery, Super Church and River Next are checked into their classrooms with a computer system that provides a name-tag for each child.
Children are picked up by their parent or the person who checked them in from their classroom at the end of the service.
4th and 5th grade children are allowed to “check themselves out” of their class if they are given permission by their parent.
Volunteers with children are instructed to use time outs or to redirect children who are not acting appropriately.
If there is a severe discipline issue parents are notified immediately.
For more detailed description of these policies view our Child Safety Handbook.