Keeping children physically and emotionally safe in church has become more important than ever. Jolynn Patterson, early childhood and curriculum director at Woodmen Valley Chapel in Colorado Springs, Colorado, shares how parents and churches can work together to ensure the safety of children.
As a big church, how do you keep children safe while they are away from their parents?
We've taken a proactive and preventive approach. In the early childhood area, we have only one entrance and one exit to the building, with a supervisor or greeter at each door to make sure everyone coming and going has a reason to be there. We do a background check on each volunteer every two years, and we check personal references.
Each child has a two-part nametag. The child wears half and the parent takes the other half. The child can only be picked up by the parent holding the other part of that nametag. The nametags have numbers, and we can display a child's number during the service if he or she has an emergency.