Our goal at Calvary Bible Church (CBC) is to provide a safe, secure and loving environment where ministry and activities for the children can go on unimpeded and where parents feel comfortable leaving their children. The following policies are in place to protect our children, their parents, our volunteers and the reputation of this church and the Christian community. Everyone working with children at CBC will need to adhere to these policies or you will not be allowed to continue to volunteer.
Applying for a Volunteer Position
All applicants will need to complete the “Application for Volunteers Working with Children” before volunteering with children at CBC. Applicants must have attended CBC regularly for at least six (6) months. A national background check will be performed and then your name will be submitted to be approved by a representative on the Elder Board and the Christian Education Director (CE Director). As of April 2019, each VBS volunteer will also submit to the national background check;
You will be asked if you have ever been accused of, participated in, or been convicted of sexual misconduct. Next, a criminal background check, as required by our insurance company, must be completed. Calvary Bible Church reserves the option to repeat background checks for individuals who have a break in service of one (1) or more years or have had five (5) of more years of service.
If the background check deems the applicant ineligible, the individual will be permanently disallowed from any involvement in the care, supervision and/or teaching of minors. This includes nursery, Sunday School, and/or overnight activities involving minors or mentorship of minors (including overnight mission trips).
In addition, applicants must review Calvary Bible Church’s “Policy and Procedures,” and sign the “Volunteer Contract”. The CE Director, or person designated by the CE Director, is responsible for reviewing these documents and policies with each applicant prior to service.
A training session will be made available twice a year for all volunteers involving watching a video made by Safeguard from Abuse and taking a quiz to be certified. Our goal is to have 100% of volunteers certified and you will be strongly encouraged to attend. As of April 2019, all VBS volunteers will also have the opportunity to attend a training session.
All teachers and nursery helpers should wear a nametag as a means of identifying them as an adult authorized to be in the classroom. Visiting parents who want to stay with their child should check in with the Sunday School teacher or Nursery Supervisor and request permission. If you have a question about someone coming into your classroom, please contact the CE Director.
No minor should be alone with any one adult at any time, unless the child is in a counseling situation. During counseling sessions, another adult should be on the premises and aware that the meeting is taking place. The child should know the adult is there and who they are.
Additionally, during the service or Sunday School, people should not be wandering around the children’s classroom. Children should never be unattended. If you see an adult or teenager wandering around the classroom hallways, please approach them or notify the CE director. If you approach them, ask if they require assistance and direct them to an appropriate area of the church facility.
Classroom or Group Settings
On a given Sunday when only one student arrives in his/her Sunday School class, creating a one-on-one setting between adult teacher and student, the teacher will place the student with another age appropriate class. Under no circumstances should a teacher be behind closed doors with only one student.
Guidelines for Safely Interacting with Children
Our Zero Tolerance policy states that if a volunteer does not adhere to the following rules, they will no longer able to work with the youth.
- Keep everything in public. Never put yourself or a child in a one on one situation.
- Rule of Three –Bathroom needs should be supervised with 2 adults, 1 or more child. When in the situation of giving a child or teen a ride, in addition to the driver there must be another adult or child in the car.
- Touch should be related to the child’s needs, not the adult’s needs.
- Touch should be age-appropriate and generally initiated by the child rather than the adult, with the exception of special circumstances, i.e. – medical treatment.
- Avoid any touching or physical activity that is, or may be construed as inappropriate to the adult or child.
- No piggy back rides or carrying elementary age children. Hand holding to guide a child is recommended.
- No Tickling or rough play for school age children. Joking with a child is recommended
- No sitting on laps for school age children. Have them sit next to you instead. Side hugs only.
No one child should be alone with any one adult at any time. All children from early childhood through preschool age accompanied by two adults to the bathroom (refer to the Rule of Three). Adults should wait in the doorway while the child is in the restroom and children should be given as much privacy as possible. Adults should only enter the bathroom stall when absolutely necessary to assist children. In the nursery, parents have the option of having a nursery worker change their child’s diaper or they will be called to the nursery if the need arises.
If a child is injured on the church premises, basic first aid procedures should be followed. A guide with these procedures is posted in each classroom. A small first aid kit is available in the bathroom. If a child was bitten, if an injury involved blood or other significant treatment or if the child is quite upset due to an injury, notify the CE Director and the parent of the incident. In addition, an “Ouch Report” should be completed. A copy of the “Ouch Report” should be given to both the parent and the CE Director.
If a child incurs a serious injury such as: broken bones, convulsions, fainting, loss of consciousness or other serious bodily harm, the following procedures should be followed:
- If the injury is life threatening, immediately call 911.
- If it is NOT life threatening, keep the injured person as calm as possible.
- Be calm and speak calmly to reassure the injured person.
- Do not move the injured person or leave them unattended.
- Send someone to find the CE Director or other elder at the church.
- The CE Director or elder will contact the parents and advise them of their child’s situation and the procedures being followed.
- If the child is transported to the hospital and the parents can NOT be located in time, a staff member should accompany the child to the hospital.
- In addition to filling out an “Ouch Report”, all individuals involved with the emergency should write out an account of the incident after the treatment is completed.
Safeguard from Abuse
It is strongly encouraged that each volunteer take the “Safeguard from Abuse” training. This will be offered free of charge at CBC twice annually. Our goal is to have 100% of our volunteers certified. We adhere to a zero tolerance policy for the safety of our youth.
Interacting with Teens
- Rule of Three still applies. Volunteers should not be in a one on one situation with youth.
- Side hugs only.
- While texting is a common way to communicate these days, it may not always be the best way to interact with others. Inappropriate text messages are not tolerated. Below are a couple of guidelines to follow.
Texting should be reserved for communication information such as change of plans, reminder of events, etc. It is strongly encouraged to send most texts or emails to a group rather than individuals. Texting teens should be during the hours between 8 am and 9 pm. If it would be considered too late to call a house phone, it should be too late to send a text.