Safe Place Guidelines
The creation and institution of these Safe Place guidelines is a reflection of the world and times we live in. At Essex Alliance Church, we have a moral obligation to ensure that our church is a Safe Place:
- Safe for kids and their families
- Safe to volunteer and serve
Safe Place is not a reaction to anything that has occurred at our church. Instead, it is a proactive stance to keep our kids and volunteers safe, and to keep our witness in the community strong.
We appreciate and trust our volunteer staff in ministry. Safe Place is intended to give both parents and volunteers peace of mind while participating in our ministries.
What Safe Place Means For You...
Safe Place provides security for three main areas of ministry . . .
Age-appropriate activities take place in physically safe environments. No private areas are used in ministry.
Allergy Note: Essex Alliance Church is not a nut-free facility. We strive to be nut-reduced by serving only nut-free snacks, having clean facilities, and educating parents. Parents of children with allergies should inform the volunteers and fill out the allergy alert ID sticker each time they drop their child off in their program.
Kids and Families:
Official registration lists exist for all programs. Secure check in/out procedures are in place for Nursery and Preschool programs. At check in, parents are given a numbered bracelet. The parent must be present with this bracelet to pick up their children; no child will be permitted to pick up this age group. Our numbered calling system, displayed in call boxes located on the left side of the stages at both Old Stage and Cinema campuses, alerts parents if their child needs them during the service.
Safe Place applications and background checks are required for all volunteers. Each volunteer commits to the specific ministry procedures and guidelines for his or her role.
Main Volunteer Guidelines...
- Volunteers must complete a Safe Place application and background check prior to serving.For information about our next Safe Place Training session and the applications, visit our Safe Place Training page.
- Two non-married adults must be present when working with kids or teens.
- A married couple may work together in a room only if a third adult is present.
- Adults may work with teen helpers only if the minimum requirement of two adults is met first.
- Volunteers always minister to kids in public areas (with doors open).
- No male volunteer should assist children in bathrooms or with changing diapers.
- Injuries or concerns regarding children, teens, or adults must be reported immediately to Pastor Mike James.
- Volunteers need to sign in each time they serve.
- Volunteers need to wear photo name tag when they serve.
- If possible, the volunteer mix in a room should be adjusted so males are not the only volunteers in the room.
- Photographs of children and teens are never identified with their names. During registration, parents have the option to request that their child's picture not to be used for bulletin boards, newsletters or any promotional materials.
- Safe Place applies to everything that happens on our campuses and to all off-site events under the ministry umbrella of Essex Alliance.
- Precautionary measures should always be taken to reduce the risk of blood-borne pathogens. These precautions, along with latex gloves, are posted in every children's ministry area.
Teen Volunteer Specific Guidelines
- The teen years offer a special opportunity to grow in your walk with God while beginning to responsibly serve the children in our church.
- Leaders-In-Training (LITs) should at least 11 years old and in sixth grade to help out.
- LITs must be over 18 years to help out with infants (0 to 10 months).
- LITs need to complete a Teen Service Covenant prior to serving. This covenant covers LIT responsibilities that range from coming prepared to serve, to striving to be a positive role model in the church and community.
- LITs should not assist taking children to the bathroom or with changing diapers.