Christ the Redeemer
Child Safety Protocols
(Effective January 19, 2016)
Of the concerns the church leadership shares for the well-being of the CTR church family, none is more important than its concern for the physical safety of children. While parents must ultimately be responsible for the safety of their own children, CTR will always strive to provide as safe an environment as possible for the children in its midst.
The CTR clergy and vestry have already acknowledged the need to provide a safe environment for children by adopting the Safe Church training program (endorsed by CANA) for Christian education teachers, childcare workers, and church officials who oversee children’s activities. Children’s Christian Education teachers already do their best to track children as they go to and return from restrooms or the water fountain. The overriding purpose of these protocols is to protect unaccompanied children traversing the parish hall and/or narthex on those occasions when adult church members are not also present in those locations. The entire CTR church family is encouraged to be patient, to be understanding, and to assist with the successful implementation of these protocols. The protection and safety of its children demands nothing less.
- Any child under the age of twelve (hereinafter “child” or “children”) who attends a church service or other regular church activity in the sanctuary or parish hall should be supervised by a parent or designated (supervising) adult (“DA”);
- Parents (or DAs) are the primary persons responsible for the safety of their children when those children attend a church service or other regular activity in any part of the church;
- A child left in the care of the Church Nursery is exempted from supervision by the child’s parent (or DA) for the duration the Nursery stay. This time is not to exceed 15 minutes prior to the beginning of a church activity or 15 minutes after the church activity concludes;
- When, during such church activities, a child leaves the room to visit a restroom or water fountain, he/she should be accompanied by a parent or DA who can visually track the child to ensure that he/she safely enters the restroom or accesses the water fountain; to ensure that he/she safely returns to his/her intended destination upon exiting the restroom or finishing with the water fountain; and to ensure that the child is free from inappropriate contact with unknown individuals (of any age) while in transit (collectively, the “safety concerns”);
- When, during such church activities and when ushers are on duty, an unaccompanied child leaves the sanctuary to visit a restroom or water fountain, one of the ushers on duty, if aware of the child’s presence, will do his best to address the aforementioned safety concerns;
- Any child attending Sunday School, Wednesday evening Kids Club activities, Wednesday evening Eucharist, or who has been entrusted to adult-supervised childcare arranged by CTR, should be accompanied by a parent or DA when leaving such activities or childcare to visit a restroom or water fountain in order to address the aforementioned safety concerns;
- When ushers are on duty, they will be responsible for meeting and greeting all unknown persons who enter the church through the front doors, responding appropriately to the needs of such persons, contacting appropriate church officials as may be necessary, and continuously monitoring such persons until they depart the church premises (including monitoring the presence of any such persons in CTR’s restrooms, as may be appropriate);
- At the conclusion of church services or other regular church activities (including Sunday School classes and CTR-provided childcare), and until the parish hall, narthex, and hallways begin to fill with adults transitioning from one room to another, no child should leave the room in question to go to the kitchen, to cross the parish hall from one side of the church to the other, to visit a restroom, or to access a water fountain unless the child is visually tracked by a parent or DA from the room of origin to the destination in question in order to address the aforementioned. At least one usher will be assigned to monitor the parish hall and narthex between the end of the regular Sunday morning service and the beginning of the Adult Education/Sunday School hour, for ten minutes following the conclusion of (Sunday) Adult Education, and during the Wednesday evening Eucharist, both to meet and greet unknown individuals entering the narthex and parish hall through the front doors, and, if the narthex and parish hall are not occupied by other adult members of the congregation, to do his best to visually track unaccompanied children who enter the narthex or parish hall for any purpose. Written usher schedules will be provided to the clergy and vestry wardens on a regular basis; and
- No child present at CTR for any of the aforesaid church activities may use the playground facilities unless a parent or DA is physically present in the playground area to supervise that child’s play. One or more additional children may be left in the care and supervision of a single parent or DA while using the playground facilities provided that each such additional child is verbally acknowledged by the responsible parent or DA. Access to the playground should remain limited by latching and securing the swing-gate after entry (if accessed from outside the church building).
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These child safety protocols are officially adopted this 19th day of January, 2016, by unanimous vote of the vestry.