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Monday, April 5, 2010

Church safety.....

Good Stewards

No one enjoys talking about safety and security issues, particularly in church. But we are called to be good stewards. That includes protecting our buildings, assets, and most important, people.

I Have read on childcare safety and have had to follow the state regulations for over 15 years owning a childcare maybe I Could share some of the imformation that would keep churches and chilcares safe where I work they have a security
system installed it has helped tremendously.
some childcares have a code that are given to parents to enter the childcare.
FBI Background checks for all workers (both payed and volunteer) who have any interface at all with children or youth. . But nothing says “We love you and care about your children” more clearly to parents than a comprehensive background-check policy for their children’s workers, teachers and care-givers. There are plenty of services all around your community now who can coordinate this for you.

A comprehensive child safety awareness policy Have windows in all the doors, a policy of at least two workers in every room, a comprehensive and coherent fire escape plan, an up-to-date security system for dropping off and picking up children, etc. No ministry in church life has changed as much and as rapidly as children’s ministries over the last few years. Make sure your church is current. Hire a consultant if you have to. It is the loving thing to do.
Plan for Security
Some suggestions for improving safety in the church include: Making the building more secure. Prevent easy entry by installing large steel or wooden doors with heavy locks and security windows. Adopt procedures for dispensing and collecting keys. Store valuables in unmarked cabinets or closets with locks. Consider purchasing a security system. Doing necessary improvements. Conduct regular inspections of the church. Train staff and church members to report safety hazards. If something needs fixing, do it immediately—or clearly mark it as a hazard until it's fixed.

Shielding church employees. Consider using only one entrance into the church building during weekday business hours. Secure the office area with electronic locks and security-glass windows. Train church workers and members in safety procedures.

Controlling access to church money. Consider a system in which two unrelated people handle money from collection to deposit. Work out a check-and-balance system for all financial dealings. Make sure you have a complete audit done yearly. Keep all financial records at the church office.

Screening all workers. Work out an interview process that includes background and reference checks on anyone who will work with children. Consider waiting six months to a year before allowing new church members to work with children. Make sure two unrelated adults work with kids at all times. Install windows in the nursery and preschool classroom doors.
. Access to money. "Long-time Church Treasurer Charged with Embezzlement." No one wants to read a headline like that, especially if it refers to one's own church. Nonetheless, financial misconduct in churches is making headlines. We naturally fear strangers who might break in and steal. Less obvious thieves are treasurers, deacons, secretaries, pastors, and other people who work for us.

People we suspect the least make the best embezzlers. Many pastors and church leaders whom I spoke to admitted that at least part of their church's money management was flawed. Yet they were quick to say that the person in charge of their church finances was a "patron saint" and that any change in procedure would be interpreted as a statement of distrust. Most preferred to leave things as they were, regardless of the risk.

Robberies of churches by strangers are also becoming more common. Frankly, brazen theft is difficult to prevent. Churches that take collections during worship services always risk being robbed by strangers. Trained ushers can help minimize some of that danger.

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