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Hi, I'm the secretary at Faith CRC in Tinley Park, IL. We are wondering how other churches handle volunteers for VBS. Should we just use our church members, or accept the help of VBS parents, etc. Their help would be welcome, but would they need to have a background check? Would teens (former VBS kids) also need background checks?


Hi, at Nelson Avenue Community Church (CRC) in Burnaby, BC we have a Safe Church protocol that requires all those who work with children, youth and lead adults to have filled out an application with 2 references, attend an interview, have a criminal record check and attend Safe Church training and yearly refreshers. This is for all people including the parents of the children in the ministries. Our denominational Safe Church Ministry would be able to help you with that. 

I have been in a ministry where we did allow some volunteers limited duties without the full police check - ONLY if they are never left alone with children and are under the direction of fully screened volunteers.  In essence they become more people to keep track of.   For example volunteers helping out in the kitchen who have no direct contact with the children.  It is not my preference.

Oops, I'm sorry I missed part of your question.  Former VBS participants should be treated like any other adult volunteer.  Sadly it cannot be assumed that younger children are safe with teens.  I have found it difficult to get many church members to appreciate the risk so it is wise to get the information from Safe Church as the other contributor mentioned.

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