VBS? Make Safety Part of the Plan!
July 2, 2013
Updated February 27, 2014
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Are you inviting children from your community into your church for a Vacation Bible School this summer? Planning will ensure that the environment you provide is secure and safe for all of the children who attend your VBS.
Here’s a blog by Becky Lloyd that lists 46 tips for security during a VBS. Becky works with Lifeway Christian Resources and writes with passion about Vacation Bible School.
Candace, another blogger with Lifeway Christian Resources, penned “VBS Safety and Security.” Candace writes, “VBS is a great outreach tool for the church, and a great time of fun and fellowship for the kids. It is important that during VBS that the church takes precautions with safety and security ... It is the church’s job to help parents know they are doing everything they can to keep their child safe while he or she is in their care.”
Brotherhood Mutual, a go-to site for church safety, features an article entitled "Vacation Bible School Safety Precautions: Is Your Vacation Bible School Program as Safe as It Could Be?"
The article explains, "What could possibly happen when you combine a little glue and glitter along with energetic kids and well-meaning volunteers? A great experience, when you’re careful. Vacation Bible School is a great way to introduce the children in your community to Christ. Take steps before the doors open on this outreach to ensure a safe and fun experience for all.”
Volunteer screening is of utmost importance for VBS safety. The Brotherhood Mutual website explains, "VBS programs are only as good as the people who lead them. Be sure your staff and volunteers are screened properly before allowing them to be involved in this ministry. Some steps to include in your screening process: applications, reference checks, criminal background checks, and personal interviews."
Not convinced of the need to screen?
Read "Background Screening: Why Screen?" on the Brotherhood Mutual website. As well, check out a blog I wrote last August about the importance of screening: Background Screening: An Important Safety Measure.
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Be sure all volunteers, adults and teenagers alike, understand the church's abuse prevention policy and how to implement it in the VBS setting. The parents of these children trust us with their children. It is our comission to keep VBS a safe environment for all participants.
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