Summer is on its way and you, like most churches, are gearing up for Vacation Bible School! This means prepping for volunteers, planning meals and snacks, practicing music, and so on.
While we know how much fun VBS can be, we want to make sure you take the necessary steps to ensure it is also safe for the children attending.
Here are three tips we encourage you to consider when creating your plan for VBS:
1. Screen your volunteers.
While you may personally know everyone volunteering during VBS, that doesn’t mean parents know them. Whether you’re hosting in person or virtually, ensure parents know their children are in good hands by screening each volunteer properly. Realm’s integrated Background Check solution, powered by Verified First, makes it easy to quickly run a background check on each volunteer.
Not sure where to start with background checks? Check out our Know Your People background check guide to learn what each search covers and see other frequently asked questions.
2. Keep up with those in attendance.
We all pray things go smoothly at each event; however, we know that when children are involved and running a thousand miles a minute, there’s always room for incidents to occur. If you are hosting your program in person, take the time to have parents check-in their children upon arriving each day. This makes it easy to see who is in attendance and lets you print their name tags. Realm Check-In gives you customizable name tags that allow you to print things such as allergies and emergency contact information on each name tag, so you have it on hand if needed.
3. Properly train your staff.
Finally, make sure your staff is properly trained on abuse awareness. This is helpful not just for VBS, but in preparation for any summer children’s camp or your children’s ministry in general. Require your staff to complete our course series on Abuse Awareness in MinistrySmart. These courses feature Reverend Joy T. Melton, J.D., the author and creator of Safe Sanctuaries, and provide your church with practical ways to create a culture of abuse awareness and prevention.
Don’t have a MinistrySmart account yet? Log in to Realm, click the MinistrySmart icon in the top right beside the question mark, then click “Yes, I understand” in the pop-up.
Don’t let your excitement for VBS and all the fun things that come along with it shadow the need for safety and security for your church’s children. Consider the tips above, along with any others your church recommends, in your safety plan and give parents peace of mind knowing their children are protected while in your care.