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How to: Ensure a Child’s Safety in the Case of a Lost Checkpoint Security Tag

John Gilman January 28, 2013

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Today we’ve got a great post from Danielle Harper, the director of the TreeHouse Kidz Team at RiverTree Christian Church. Looking for more great information about kids’ ministry? Danielle will also be joining us and leading breakout sessions at the Ideas to Impact Conference 2013.

By now, you have your Children’s Ministry parents using the ACS Checkpoint system. Parents are not losing their tags and all of your volunteers are doing a great job of verifying matching numbers during dismissal in your child’s room.  But, what happens when the child’s tag gets destroyed by a crazy craft, or lost because the child was seeing how many places they could stick it and the “sticky” wore out?What now?

If the child notices they lost their tag early in the hour, you can help them find it and reattach it or print off a new one for them. However, it becomes more difficult at pick up time when you have a line of parents in the hallway and the child is at the door ready to go home.

What do you do then?  For elementary kids and preschoolers we have come up with a quick way to deal with this. We use the “top secret” question route. We ask the parent to wait one moment while we pull child aside out of hearing distance from the parent.  We then ask the child to answer at least 2 of the following questions:

  •  Who brought you to church today?
  •  Who all came with you?
  •  What did you have for breakfast this morning?
  •  What did you do this afternoon?
  •  What does your (person who brought you) look like… do they wear glasses ? ect..
  •  Do you have any siblings? What are their names?
  •  Do you have a pet? What is your pet’s name?

We then ask the parent to answer the same questions we asked the child. If the answers match, we release child to the parent.  If the answers don’t match, we then go down to the check-in computers and print another tag for the child.  This takes a little longer, and by this time the child may be feeling a bit anxious, but the security of the child is most important and always worth the extra step.  This “top secret” question route only works if the child loses their tag. It wouldn’t work if the parent loses the tag.  A parent losing their tag is a more complicated security issue and a whole new blog article!

Accidents happen and kids can lose their tags in the classroom.  It is not often, but it happens enough for us to have a verification system in place.  Pick up time is an exciting time for kids: they want to go home and share what they learned with their parent.  And, when there is a hold up at the door to leave, they may get upset.  However stressful it may be during those times, we must err on the side of caution to ensure that every child goes home with the right person. Find a security system that works for your church, or adapt ours to fit your needs.

Do you have any security tips for your using children’s ministry check-in system?

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