First Baptist Church, Huntsville, AL
Thursday, November 27, 2014

Procedures for Supervision of Preschool/Children/Youth

Once approved for service, all volunteer workers with preschoolers, children, and youth use the following procedures to facilitate their work.

THE “TWO ADULT” RULE
All workers should avoid being alone in a one-on-one situation with preschoolers, children, and youth.
When supervising children ages birth to third grade, a minimum of two adults, age 19 and older, should be present in the classroom. Exceptions to this rule are:

1.The Weekday Early Education ministry may staff a room with only one adult teacher with the following safeguards in place:
 a. The teachers, as paid employees, have been through the complete screening procedures, including criminal background check.
 b. Visual access into the classroom is available at all times.
 c. Random, unannounced visits are made to the classroom regularly by another adult.

2. Classrooms may be staffed by one adult and one youth, age 16 and older, if:
 a. The youth has been approved by a minister to work in this area.
 b. Another adult, serving as coordinator or division director, makes periodic checks on the room, and is available to assist in the classroom if needed.

3. Youth younger than age 16, who have received permission from the appropriate minister to work with children, may assist in the classroom as helpers, but may not count as one of the two required adults.

The “two adults” that are scheduled to work with preschoolers, children, or youth may be from the same family.  However, the church will seek to provide additional adult workers to assist couples and other family members when working together with preschoolers, children, and youth.

PASTORAL CARE AND COUNSELING WITH CHILDREN AND YOUTH
When involved in a counseling session with children or youth, ministerial staff are exempt from the “two adult rule.”  However, the counseling shall take place in an environment which allows visual access by others.  When numerous counseling sessions are contemplated, either:

1. Parental permission shall be obtained in writing for the minister to meet privately with the minor, or
2. The “two adult rule” shall apply.

RESTROOM PROCEDURES
Preschool classes are to use the restroom in their classroom.  If a teacher must assist a child in the restroom, the door to the restroom shall remain open.  Older preschoolers who do not require assistance in the restroom, should be given the privacy of being alone with the door closed.  If a child must use the restroom when outside the classroom, every effort should be made to avoid a situation where one teacher and one child are alone in the restroom.

WINDOWS ON CLASSROOM DOORS
All doors to classrooms for children and youth will have windows.  The windows should remain uncovered at all times.  If no window is present in a door going into an area where preschoolers, children, or youth are present, the door shall remain open during use so that persons passing by can observe inside.

SHUT DOOR POLICY
In infant through three-year old classrooms, the door to the hallway should either be shut or a gate securely in place at all times preschoolers are in the room.

SUPERVISION OF ACTIVITIES
At all events for preschoolers, children and youth, a coordinator will be present to make periodic, random visits to the classrooms.

RELEASE OF CHILDREN
Children in infant through three year old church classes will only be released to a properly identified and authorized adult.

UNUSED AREAS OF THE CHURCH FACILITY
All doors leading to hallways should be equipped with locks and windows.  When not in use, all doors leading to the hallways should be locked after the rooms have been checked.  Areas of the church facility not in use should be periodically checked by ushers during the worship services and by custodians at other times.

THE “OVERNIGHT” RULE
Special attention will be given to planning and carrying out activities that involve children and youth in overnight stays, on or off church property.  Adequate adult supervision, appropriate separation of sexes, and other precautions will be taken.  All adult chaperons must clear the appropriate screening procedures before being allowed to participate.  Sleeping arrangements will be made to avoid one adult and one child being in a room alone except family members.

EDUCATION OF WORKERS
Each church year, opportunities for training in understanding, preventing, recognizing, and reporting suspected child abuse will be provided by the various ministry areas of our church.  Volunteer workers with preschoolers, children, and youth will be required to participate in at least one of these training opportunities.

PARENTAL SUPERVISION AND PARTICIPATION
Parents should not leave their children unattended at church, especially before or after scheduled events.  Parents are encouraged to attend, participate in, and observe all activities in which their children are engaged.

IMMEDIATE DISCUSSION OF SUSPICIOUS BEHAVIOR
Any questionable conduct involving preschooler, child, or youth will be confronted immediately and investigated.  Staff and volunteers will be advised to be alert if a child or youth appears withdrawn or aloof, exhibits a marked personality change, or exhibits any signs of physical abuse or other behavior that may indicate a problem that deserves attention.