Physical Safety Check List:
Have you addressed each of these areas?
Are the classroom spaces appropriate for each age group? Are the furnishings age appropriate?
Does the size and layout of the rooms fit the size and needs of your youth?
Are there two exits from every classroom space? (Count both doors and windows)
Are the classrooms for children, infant through second grade, located on the first floor for easy evacuation?
Is there adequate ventilation, cooling and heating?
Do the appropriate people know where the circuit breakers & water cut-off are?
Are the bathrooms easily accessible? Are the fitted for children's use? (Lower toilets, step stool, etc)
If bathrooms are shared with adults, do you have a plan for the children to use the bathroom during the hour?
Is drinking water easily accessible?
Are the classroom windows and screens in working order?
Are the nursery & preschool spaces child safe?
Are there windows in the door or wall to allow people to look into the room without entering?
Are the cleaning solutions appropriate and kept in a safe space?
Is there anything stored in the room that is harmful when ingested or comes in contact with skin or eyes?
If you have a playground area, who oversees the upkeep. How often is it inspected, cleaned and washed down?
Is the playground area fenced in?
What are the rule and procedures for using the playground? Is the signage clearly visible?
Does your insurance adequately cover the play ground?
Are all of these plans in place?
Do you have an evacuation plan in case of fire or other threat that would necessitate the immediate removal from the building?
Are the exits clearly marked and accessible?
Do you have a lock-down or shelter-in-place emergency plan for severe weather, suspicious person or missing child?
Are you prepared to handle other emergencies that may be specific to your location?
Are these procedures written down, easily accessible , communicated and reviewed?
Do you have a plan for medical emergencies? Do you have emergency kids first aid kits available and easily accessible to those who would need it?
Are fire extinguishers clearly marked and accessible?
Is there a communication system connecting the children's spaces to the adults?
How are the parents or adults notified in case of an emergency?
Keeping Track of Everyone
Have you considered all of these items?
Do you have a registration form for each child participating in your program? (See sidebar for form.)
Do you have photo releases for everyone you take a picture of? (See sidebar for release.)
Do you have medical releases and permission slips for children/teens involved in other activities? (See sidebar for forms.)
What are your check-in and check-out procedures?
Do you keep your attendance sheets for a period of time?
Who is responsible for the children before, during and after the service?
If you are serving snacks, are you familiar with all of the possible allergies and which children have them?
Who is allowed to be in the Youth Ministry classrooms on Sunday or during the week?
Do you have a policy manual for your teachers and parents?
Do you have two adults in every classroom?
Do you have a policy on how to handle convicted sex offenders who desire to attend your church? (See sidebar for policy.)
Do you have a child protection policy? (See sidebar for document)
Travel, Insurance & Other Considerations
Have you considered all of these items?
Does your insurance cove the children, teens, sponsors and/or parents when they travel to, during and away from a church event? In town? Out of state?
Does the two person rule cover travel?
Have you completed background checks on parents accompanying teens outside events? (See sidebar for background check form.)
Do you have travel packets for the drivers or accompanying adults? Be sure to include copies of medical insurance, medical releases, driver's license, etc...
Will the church's insurance be primary or secondary to the individuals when traveling?
Are the drivers comfortable stopping the vehicle until order/rules are restored?
If a church member is driving their own car and something happens, who pays?
Does your church insurance cover a 15 seat passenger van?
If a vehicle is rented for travel to events, is the extra insurance needed?
Have you done a driving record check on all adults driving or accompanying youth on out of town events?
Do the drivers have travel first aid kits?
Do the drivers have emergency kits for varying weather and driving conditions?
Do you know what your insurance covers, who it covers and when it covers?
Are candles allowed to be used in the building?