- Applicants who have a record of either child sexual abuse or physical abuse are not eligible to serve in any activity sponsored by Vineyard Kids.
- All applicants for service in Vineyard Kids are required to complete and return a Volunteer Application, which includes personal information, history of past work with kids, and three adult references. Failure to return a completed Application will disqualify a candidate for a position within Vineyard Kids.
- All applicants must consent to reference checks and background checks.
- Males under the age of 21 are not allowed to serve in preschool, nursery, or childcare.
- All applicants must complete Awareness Training through MinistrySafe to become more informed on the subject of preventing child sexual abuse in the church.
- Vineyard Church of Baton Rouge has a zero tolerance for abuse in ministry programs and ministry activities. It is the responsibility of every staff member and volunteers at to act in the best interest of all children in every program.
- In the event a staff member or volunteer observes any inappropriate behaviors (i.e. policy violations, neglectful supervision, poor role-modeling, etc.) or suspected abuse or neglect (physical, emotional, or sexual) it is that individual’s responsibility to immediately report their observations to the Children’s Director.
- Because sexual abusers ‘groom’ children for abuse, it is possible a staff member or volunteer may witness behavior intended to ‘groom’ a child for sexual abuse. Staff members and volunteers are asked to report ‘grooming’ behavior, policy violations, or any suspicious behaviors to the Children’s Director.
- Situations will be handled immediately, yet with due respect to people’s confidentiality and privacy. Full cooperation will be given to law enforcement authorities. Appropriate care will be given to victims.
Consequences of Violation
- Any person accused of committing a prohibited act or any act considered by the church to be harmful to a child will be immediately suspended from participation in Vineyard Kids. This suspension will continue during any investigation by law enforcement or Child Protective agencies.
- Any person found to have violated this policy may be prohibited from future participation as a staff member or volunteer in all activities and programming involving children or students at the Vineyard. If the person is an employee, such conduct may also result in termination of employment from the Vineyard.
- Windows and security cameras have been placed in all children’s classrooms. They are to be left uncovered at all times so that the view into the room remains unobstructed.
- Children may not be dropped off in a classroom without the caregivers present.
- Only authorized volunteers, children signed into the program, and parents of children signed into the program are allowed to be in the childcare areas at any time.
- Children’s programs for children through fifth grade must check-in and have a name-tag on their backs.
- Parents of children through fifth grades must pick up their children from the childcare program with a security tag matching the numbers of the child’s name-tag. If children are left behind after the rest of the group has been picked up, you or your supervisor will take them directly to the parent, so that you are not left with one or two children in a classroom for an extended period of time.
- At all times, you will maintain strict guidelines for appropriate touch.
- Children older than 4 years old may not sit on your lap.
- Children have the right to say “no” to being touched.
- Children who exhibit signs of fever, runny nose, rashes or other obvious signs of illness will not be admitted into the ministry area. If a child has been checked in and is in the classroom and the teacher observes signs of illness, the child will be returned to the parent.
- Children will often begin to cry as they realize they are about to separate from their parent/guardian. We encourage parents to drop a child off early and quickly so that the director/teacher can have time to talk to them in an attempt to soothe them. The majority of children will calm down rapidly once the parent is gone. If a child continues to cry for more than 5-10 minutes, the parent will be notified by calling or texting the number provided on their tag. If they cannot be reached, the support volunteer will be notified to retrieve their parent from service.
Unruly or Disruptive Children
- Children who are unruly or disruptive will be lovingly corrected. The first occurrence will result in a verbal admonition and or a change in proximity (move them to another place in the room.) The volunteer may then place the child in timeout within the classroom. If the behavior continues, the parent will be contacted. The parent may attempt to correct the child and place the child back into the classroom. If the behavior continues the parent will be contacted and must take the child for the remainder of the service.
- If a child is being unruly and the parents are paged out 3 weeks within a five-week period, the child will not be allowed to come to children’s ministry and therefore must sit in church with their parent(s) for the next 2 weeks. After that time, we are happy to try again. This is to not only help correct the behavior, as it is also to protect the others in the class.
- Verbally correct and change proximity in the room
- Allow child to sit in time out within the classroom
- Parent will be called. The parent may bring the child back to classroom.
- If have to call parent again, the child may not come back to classroom for that Sunday. They may return the next Sunday.
- If the behavior is consistent for 3 weeks, the child will need to stay with the parent(s) for the following 2 weeks.
- NO corporal punishment of any sort will be administered by any member of Vineyard Kids staff or volunteer.
- Neither will any sort be allowed in the classroom area by a parent or guardian. We will ask that a parent take a child to the restroom or outside if they feel strong discipline is necessary.
- All children will be treated with respect, love, and dignity regardless of their actions.
- We also ask that team members go directly to the director if they feel the parent needs to be notified of certain behaviors. The director will talk with them in a private setting to discuss a plan of action for successful participation in the classroom.
- Volunteers will not talk or gossip about the children they have ministered to in the classrooms.
- Do not speak to another parent about another child. If you have to mention something to a parent, DO NOT use the other child’s name, simply say “another child”. For example, if a child gets hurt by another child, tell the parent of the injured child, “Your child, Noah was hurt today when ANOTHER CHILD accidentally dropped a toy on his foot.” Don’t say the other child’s name. We are all in community with one another and want to protect the children and respect one another.
- Only female nursery volunteers or the child’s parent or legal guardian will undertake the diapering of children of either sex.
- Changing of diapers should be done in plain sight of other nursery workers.
- Children will never be left unattended on changing tables.
- Diaper rash cream will only be used by the instruction of a parent.
- Children should be re-diapered and re-clothed immediately upon the completion of changing their soiled diaper.
- Children should be changed on changing stations only with a disposable pad.
- Wear a new pair of disposable gloves prior to each diaper change.
- No child will be forced to toilet train.
- Only female nursery workers or the child’s parent or legal guardian will participate in toilet training efforts with children of either sex.
- When children are taken into bathrooms the door will be left partially open.
- Never be alone in the bathroom with a child.
- Parents should be consulted on each child’s progress in the toilet training process before leaving the child with volunteers or staff members.
- Children should be verbally assisted where possible. If physical assistance is necessary, another staff member or volunteer should be present, when possible.
- “Accidents” should be handled by reassuring the child and completing the changing of diapers or underwear and clothing. Extra clothing and diapers are available in the children’s area, if the parent has not furnished a clothing change.
School age children
- School age children may be accompanied to the restroom for supervision and assistance when needed. Children should receive the minimum amount of assistance needed based upon their individual capabilities. Staff members and volunteers should never take a lone child to the restroom.
- If a staff member or volunteer must go into the restroom to check on an individual child, he or she should seek out another worker to accompany him/her. If another worker is not available to accompany, he/she should got to the exterior bathroom door, knock, and ask if the child needs assistance but DO NOT GO IN. Any assistance with the straightening or fastening of garments should be done in the presence of another staff member or volunteer.
- First-aid kits are located in each classroom and behind the check-in counter.
- In case of accident or injury, you must fill out an Injury/Accident Report Form. These forms are located in each classroom cabinet and behind the check-in counter. Parents should be notified in the event their child experienced an injury or accident during the childcare program. Completed forms must be turned in to the Children’s Director.
- If evacuation is called for, use the nearest unaffected exit. Guide the group you are working with to proceed quickly and calmly. Do not run. The nursery crib may be used to wheel infants and toddlers more efficiently.
POLICY And Procedures AGREEMENT
I have read and understood the policies listed in this document. I agree to conscientiously abide by them. I understand that not following these guidelines could result in the termination of my services.