Jul 10, 2014

Taking Kids to the Bathroom...Best Policies

There are some danger zones in children's ministry when it comes to safety and security.

Taking kids to the bathroom is one of those areas where there is the potential for something to happen that could devastate your children's ministry.  I know of several cases where abuse took place in this situation.

The best defense is to have a policy in place that clearly defines the procedure for taking a child to the bathroom.

Here are some of the best policies to have in place.

Best Foundational Policies for all ages:
1. Everyone who serves must have a background check, reference calls, and a personal interview before serving.  No exceptions.
2. No one is ever alone with a child.  There must always be two adults present.
3. The bathrooms the kids use should be "Kids Only" bathrooms.  Make this clear with signage, etc.

Best Policies for Nursery:
1. Only females are allowed to change diapers.
2. Have a security camera in every room.

Best Policies for Preschool:
1. Have direct access to the bathroom from the classroom.
2. If you have to walk the child to the bathroom, always make sure at least 2 adults accompany the child.
3. Look and make sure no one is in the bathroom before allowing the child to enter.
4. Stand outside the door while the child is going to the bathroom.
5. If a child can't get his or her zipper back up and you have to help him or her, make sure you have two adults present and if possible help in an area that is in the sight of others (without embarrassing the child of course).  Another option is to call the parents and ask them to come and help.

Best Policies for Elementary:
1. Have direct access to the bathroom from the classroom.
2. If you have to walk the child to the bathroom, always make sure at least 2 adults accompany the child.
3. Look and make sure no one is in the bathroom before allowing the child to enter.
4. Stand outside the door while the child is going to the bathroom.
5. Do not send older elementary kids into the bathroom with younger elementary kids. 

What are some other policies you follow?  Share with us in the comment section below.

2 comments:

This is definitely important stuff and we need to have policies and procedures in place to keep our children and leaders safe. However, I would question your nursery policy that only females can change diapers. My husband is an early childhood teacher who loves working with under 2s and his attitude is that policies like this reinforce stereotypes that any man who wants to work with babies and toddlers is a potential paedophile and can't be trusted - and that women do not abuse children. I know this is about keeping our men safe too but there are other ways of doing this. Our policy is that parents must be recalled to change diapers and if this is not possible that it is to be done in the view of other adult leaders. Jan Ozanne

Great thoughts Jan. Every church has to decide for themselves what policies they will follow for sure. May God continue to bless you and your family as they serve kids. Thanks for being a difference maker for the next generation. Blessings.

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