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Q&A: Does Providing Child Care for House Groups Expose the Church to Liability?

Potential risks for in-home small group gatherings.

Our church has several small groups that meet in members' homes. Child care is provided in some of the homes for the children of parents who attend. Does this arrangement expose our church to liability?

The fact that the church is promoting these small group meetings exposes it to potential liability for injuries that occur to children who are being supervised. Those injuries may arise in a number of ways, and could include child molestation by a volunteer worker, parent, or an older child; personal injuries occurring during games, "horseplay," or fighting; choking; or poisoning. All of these risks can be greatly reduced if a church adopts certain safeguards, including the following:

  • Use at least two volunteer workers to oversee the children. One worker is unacceptable. If only one worker shows up for a particular meeting, then a member of the small group will have to assist in the supervision of children, or the meeting must be canceled.

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Posted:
  • May 1, 2007

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