WELCOME TO THE TEAM!
We believe that working with the next generation is one of the most rewarding opportunities we have in the church. In this guide you will find the philosophy, methodology, and other important details about serving within QuadCity Kids.
Below, you will find all that you need to be the most successful QuadCity Kids Volunteer that you can. We know that this is a lot of content, but everything contained in the following sections helps to make QuadCity Kids the safest environment for all involved.
Please read through it all.
At the end, you will sign off that you've read and agree to the policies & proceedures in QuadCity Kids.
MISSION & VISION
Our mission as a church comes directly from the command of Jesus found in Matthew 28:19-20, where He said:
“Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
Our mission for our kids is the same as everyone else in our church and we condense it down to:
Making more and better disciples of Jesus. Everywhere. Always.
QuadCity Kids exists to partner with parents to give kids a strong biblical foundation and help them to:
Make Wiser Choices
Build Stronger Relationships
Develop A Deeper Faith
Within QuadCity Kids, there are several opportunities to serve directly with kids or indirectly and on Sunday or midweek.
LEAD TEACHER: Leads the kids and other volunteers during the class hour, teaching and guiding everyone through each element of class. Also, sets an example of worship during class time and builds relationships with kids and their parents.
ADULT ASSISTANT: Helps to set up each element of class. Also, sets an example of worship during class time and builds relationships with kids and their parents.
TEEN VOLUNTEER: This role is for teens from 5th grade through 17 years old. This role helps by assisting the lead teachers and adult assistants as needed and sets an example of expectations and worship during class time. Teen volunteers have the potential to lead elements of class with the supervision of an Lead Teacher or Adult Assistant.
HOST: Leads the kids and other volunteers during the class hour, leading and guiding everyone through each element of class by hosting or MC-ing. Also, sets an example of worship during class time and builds relationships with kids and their parents.
SMALL GROUP LEADER (SGLs): Builds relationships with kids and their parents through leading a small group of kids during the class hour. Small group time is built into large group time and SGLs lead their groups through community time, worship, teaching, discussion time and activity.
TEEN VOLUNTEER: This role is for teens from 7th grade through 17 years old. This role helps by assisting the Host and Small Group Leaders as needed and sets an example of expectations and worship during class time. Teen volunteers have the potential to lead elements of class with the supervision of an SGL.
OTHER SUNDAY OPPORTUNITIES
KIDS CHECK-IN TEAM: Welcomes families into the QuadCity Kids Ministry and helps new families get into the system, understand the check-in/check-out process, and navigate the kids ministry and church as needed. Check-In Team volunteers need to have a basic understanding of how to operate a computer and smart phone.
SERVICE LEADER: The service leader is a role that assists the volunteers serving in the classroom without actually being in the classroom themselves. This role helps by making sure classrooms are running smoothly and have the supplies they need. They also help with bathroom breaks for kids and interacting with parents during service if needed. One major role for a service leader is to allow the Kids Pastor and Kids Director to attend a church service with their family.
DECOR TEAM: This team helps to set up our environments though theme prep and decoration. The team meets during the last week of every month to take down the theme that ended and decorate for the next theme that is starting. Occassionally, the team will meet prior to prep for the theme swap.
CURRICULUM PREP: This team helps to prep crafts and activities for upcoming months of curriculum. This involves anything from cutting parts of crafts to assembling monthly booklets. Most everything can be picked up and taken home to work on, while some things would be prepared at our Prescott Campus.
TEAM SCHEDULER: This role assists in weekly scheduling for a specific age group's volunteer team. Team Schedulers work closely with the Kids Pastor and Kids Director to ensure care and good communication as we schedule Sunday mornings on a weekly basis. Team Schedulers receive ongoing training in the use of Planning Center Services and other tools to make the scheduling process simple and enjoyable for everyone.
TRAINER: The primary goal if this role is to help new volunteers learn the in-class processes and procedures of specific age groups. Trainers help to ensure that every volunteer is on the same page for how and why we do what we do in QuadCity Kids.
If you are interested in any of these roles in place or in addition to where you are currently serving, please connect with your ministry leader to discuss further,
WHAT MAKES A GREAT QUADCITY KIDS VOLUNTEER?
- Serve on the same Sundays each month at the same service time
- Wear your QuadCity Kids shirt and check-in each Sunday
- Arrive to serve on time, every time: 30 minutes prior to the start of service
- Get acquainted with the Leader Guides prior to the Sunday you serve (they are posted in our scheduling app to access at any time)
- Pray for the kids and families within the ministry you serve
- Attend Sunday service for yourself
- Participate in QuadCity Kids Ministry Trainings
- Participate in QuadCity Kids Events when able
- Learn the names of the kids and look for opportunities to connect with them in their interests (even if it means learning about something new... or terribly annoying).
- Learn the names of parents/families, get to know them, and provide feedback (both good and bad) about their child.
- Create a safe place.
- Invite kids that have been in your group to return every week
- Let the kids see you having fun and participating
- Never shoot down a question you disagree with or don’t know the answer to
- Model the different elements of service
- Engage in worship with the kids
- Help kids to discover who Jesus is and how to follow Him
- Model Jesus in your own life by sharing personal stories about your experience as a Christian.
3 SIMPLE IN-CLASS RULES
It's really easy to have a lot of rules with a lot of expectations interwoven into the classroom setting. At QuadCity Kids, we keep things simple and memorable:
1. I WILL RESPECT MY LEADERS.
- We want the kids in our care to learn and ultimately desire to respect those who are in charge. That includes all who show up voluntarily to serve as Hosts, Small Group Leaders, Teachers, Assistants, Teen Volunteers, Check-in Teams, Safety Teams, etc. as well as Pastors, Staff and Elders. Rule like "Listen well" and "Don't speak while the teacher is speaking" are rules that fall into this category.
2. I WILL RESPECT THOSE AROUND ME.
- We want the kids in our care to learn and ultimately desire to respect their peers around them. Rules like, "keep your hands to yourself" and "use kind words" fall into this rule. However, it's much simpler and much more thought provoking to ask a child if what they are doing is respectful to the people around them.
3. I WILL RESPECT THE SPACES I'M IN.
- We want the kids in our care to learn and ultimately desire to respect the spaces and places they are in. Rules like, "Don't climb on the table" and "Don't write on the walls" and "Don't throw the toys" fall under this rule.
THE GOAL: For Everyone to Have FUN!
- These three rules are simple for a reason: When a kid is respectful towards their leaders, towards those around them and towards the spaces they are in, they set themselves and everyone else up to have the most fun possible while at QuadCity Kids and allow for themselves and others to learn and grow as much as they can. When we as a team are on the same page with these three rules, we will find the hour we spend with kids to be more fruitful and more enjoyable for our kids and for those who serve!
- Another huge goal in these three simple rules, is that kids would gain an understanding that we carry respect for our leaders, those around us, and the spaces we're in elsewhere in our lives—school, sports, friends' houses, etc. When we speak these simple rules constantly and consistantly as a team, we will find the hour we spend with kids to be more fruitful and more enjoyable for our kids and for those who serve!
3 Strike Policy
- When it comes to misbehavior in class with a child, our goal is to always address it and redirect the child towards better behavior, spending time with different kids, etc. But sometimes it's just not that simple. So, we hold a 3 Strike Policy to help ensure every child has the opportunity to focus, learn and have fun. Please understand the term "Strike" doesn't need to be communicated to children, just the step that's happening.
Strike 1 - The Warning: When a child has done something disruptive, rude, careless, etc., give them a warning to stop and let them know that if it continues, they will be moved. If a child intentionally harms another child, bypass Strike 1 & 2 and immediately move to Strike 3.
Strike 2 - The Move: If a child continues to be disruptive, rude, careless, etc., have them move and sit directly next to an adult volunteer. Let them know if they still don't stop, they their parents will be contacted to leave Big Church and to come pick them up. This is where Time-Ins come into play rather than Time-Outs (see Common Language for a Struggling Child below).
Strike 3 - The Parents: If a child still continues to be disruptive, rude, careless, etc., remove them from through group setting (even if you have to send the rest of your group to another volunteer). Utilize the In-Class tablet to send a text message to the parent(s) and connect with and inform the Kids Pastor, Kids Director or Service Leader. Step outside of the classroom with the child to wait for parents to arrive and discuss fully what happened and what was done to attempt to remedy it.
COMMON LANGUAGE FOR A STRUGGLING CHILD
When we have a kiddo in our care that is struggling to be in class, what words do we use to help ease their stress and help them learn to love being a part of QuadCity Kids? Below are words that we use as a team to ensure every volunteer speaks a common language with children (and other volunteers) to reduce stress, confusion, and misunderstandings.
- If a child is asking for mom or dad, sad to be away from them, or just wondering where they are, use the phrase "Big Church."
- Don't use words like the auditorium, the sanctuary, chapel, etc.
- At QuadCity Kids, we don't do time-outs—we do Time-Ins. Our goal is to always address poor behavior but not exclude a child in doing so. If a kiddo needs correction and redirection, refer to the Three Strike Policy under the "Three Simple In-Class Rules" section above.
WHEN IT'S OVER, IT'S OVER.
- Kids will be disruptive and kids will misbehave, but if you have corrected and redirected, let the issue rest. When it's over, it's over. There will be times that parents need to be notified, but when that happens... When it's over, it's over. Never bring up a past offense on a future Sunday or hold a past offense over a child if they have stopped doing it.
POLICIES AND PROCEDURES
QuadCity Christian Church is committed to ensuring the health and safety of the kids and volunteers within each area of QuadCity Kids. This section will outline how you can be most successful serving on the QuadCity Kids Team. The policies and procedures outlined are to be followed by all QuadCity staff members and all Volunteers that serve within QuadCity Kids ministries. We rely on staff and volunteers to assist in making QuadCity Kids a safe environment for all involved.
- All Volunteers must have complete a QuadCity Kids Volunteer Application and have a current/active background check through QuadCity Christian Church.
- All Volunteers must wear their name tag and shirt while they are serving in any secure area. This identifies you as a QuadCity Kids Volunteer to parents, QuadCity staff members and the Safety Team.
- If you see someone (adult or child) in the Kids Ministry area without a name tag, tell a QuadCity Kids Staff Member or the Service Leader.
No coach/volunteer is ever to be alone with a child at anytime
- There should always be at least two security cleared volunteers with a child; this is to ensure that we are never left alone with a child. A parent or legal guardian that is a volunteer cannot be left alone with their own child while they are serving—a first-time guest would not be able to distinguish the relationship between the parent or legal guardian and the child.
- When using the restroom, children must be accompanied by an adult volunteer to and from the restroom. If assistance is required in the restroom, a second volunteer must join and one volunteer will assist the child with the door propped open so that a second volunteer can visually monitor.
- Diaper Changes can only happen with another adult present. Teen females are able to change diapers with the supervision of an adult volunteer.
- Avoid giving rides to kids in your vehicle. The only exception is when there are two adults in the vehicle and you have permission for the parent.
Physical contact with all children should be appropriate and limited
- Use of appropriate physical contact in a public setting to show support, encouragement and healthy affection toward children who are receptive to this form of emotional expression is acceptable. However, all volunteers must exercise good judgment and never force any physical contact on any child. Examples of appropriate displays of affection are limited to: handshakes, high-fives, pats on the shoulder. Short hugs are only acceptable if initiated by the child. Infants through 3 year olds can be held, rocked, or soothed as needed.
- Volunteers may not have kids 4 and older sit on their laps at any time, even if it’s their own child.
- Communication to a child under the age of 13 (phone calls, tests, emails, social media, etc.) must always be directed towards the parent or legal guardian. Any communication with a child that is deemed inappropriate will not be tolerated (in person, text, email, social media, etc.).
Always provide a healthy environment
- If you observe a family attempting to check-in a child or observe a child in your classroom with any of the below symptoms, please inform a QuadCity Kids Staff Member or a Service Leader:
- Fever, vomiting, green/yellow runny nose, excessive coughing, questionable rash, diarrhea, discharge in or around eyes, or any communicable diseases or illnesses.
If a child gets a minor injury during service
- Communicate with the parents or legal guardians at check-out. Explain what happened and assure them that all was done to comfort the child. If you feel uncomfortable answering the parent’s questions, locate a QuadCity Kids Staff member or Service Leader for assistance.
- If a child displays physical harm:
- Towards Self: Speak calmly to the child and ask if they need to take a break. If necessary escort the child to a quiet area keeping in mind there should always be two security clears volunteers with the child.
- Towards Others: Separate the kids to different areas of the room. Do not take kids outside of the classroom—this could result in running. Stand between the students and direct their activity to something that will distract them from the present negative behavior until the situation can be assessed.
- If behaviors continue or escalate, locate a QuadCity Kids Staff Member or Service Leader.
Immediately report any urgent medical needs or concerns to QuadCity Staff
- QuadCity Kid Staff will contact the Safety Team and advise of medical emergency. For obvious emergencies such as airway, breathing, circulation issues or mass amounts of trauma, call 911 first and then let QuadCity Staff know. In the event that CPR is needed it should be initiated immediately.
- If a medical issue arises that is not urgent but requires first aid, let QuadCity Staff know and they will contact the Safety Team. Any and all medical concerns require an incident form to be completed and filed.
- Medications should only be administered with prior written consent from the parent or legal guardian.
In the event of a fire
- The first priority is to get all children to safety. In the event of a fire, an alarm will sound and all Staff and Volunteers should calmly and safely lead all children through the appropriate exterior exit for your classroom and to the appropriate meeting area. If an alarm sounds, the building must be evacuated and will not be deemed safe until the Safety Team and/or Emergency Responders have inspected the building.
- Be sure to grab class roster, emergency backpack (includes basic 1st aid kit, lollipops, flashlights, red/green “All Clear” cards), and guide your kids to evacuation spot(Early Childhood, use safety ropes to guide your kids.
- One adult volunteer must keep classroom rosters (Classroom Tablet) on hand to ensure that all children are accounted for before, during and after building evacuation.
In the event of dangerous weather
- During an outdoor event, all volunteers will wait until QuadCity Staff provides them with instructions. This includes canceling/suspending of events.
ABUSE & MANDATORY REPORTING
Disclosure of Abuse
QuadCity Christian Church supports and maintains an environment that is free of child abuse and neglect. Child abuse and neglect include physical or mental injury, sexual abuse, negligent treatment, or maltreatment. QuadCity Christian Church will neither condone or tolerate:
- Infliction of bodily harm or injury upon any child or physically abusive behavior
- Physical neglect of a child, including failure to provide adequate safety measures or care at any QuadCity event
- Emotional mistreatment of a child—including verbal abuse
We go to great lengths to protect kids at QuadCity Christian Church. Our hope and prayer is that they will never be harmed. However, as we care for hundreds of kids and students each week, it is inevitable that we will be called upon to support and love families in the most painful aspects of their lives. In order to protect the child and the family please be careful not to talk broadly about any situation. This simply means, if you see something that concerns you, report it to a QuadCity Kids staff member immediately and avoid talking with other volunteers about it.
Arizona revised the law regarding abuse back in 2003. With this change, they made some of the verbiage more specific to lessen the possibility of wrong interpretation. To read further, refer to Arizona A.R.S. 13-3620.
Child Abuse Reporting Law:
- Applies to both ordained and non-ordained ministers and pastors.
- “Reasonable belief” of suspected child abuse, not absolute certainty
- The law expands the definition of who is a “mandatory reporter” to include childcare workers in churches, both volunteers and staff
- Requires reporting to your local police jurisdiction along with Child Protective Services (CPS) including name, address, age and nature of injuries or reasons to suspect child abuse
- Reporters are immune from liability for reporting suspicions that prove to be false
The process to address red flag issues
- If you hear about or observe something that leads you to believe that a child may have been abused, you MUST by law, immediately report it to a QuadCity Christian Church staff member.
- When there is a reasonable cause to suspect abuse, QuadCity Christian Church Staff are REQUIRED to file a report with the local police jurisdiction (928-777-1900) and the Arizona Department of Child Safety (1-800-767-2445).
- QuadCity Christian Church Staff members are also required to submit a detailed report to the Business Administrator.
- We will determine what type of support and care the child and family need and will act accordingly.
Red Flag Situations
Bring ALL Red Flag issues to the attention of a QuadCity Kids Staff member immediately. To protect the confidence of the child, let them know you will need to speak with a staff member.
- Child sexual abuse: sexual abused is defined as the use, persuasion, or coercion of any child to engage in any sexually explicit conduct (or any simulation of such conduct) for the purpose of producing any visual depiction of such conduct or rape, molestation, prostitution or incest with a child.
- Physical abuse: includes non=accidental physical injuries such as bruises, broken bones, burns, cuts or other injuries.
- Neglect: occurs when children are not given necessary care for illness or injury. Neglect also includes leaving young children unsupervised or alone, locked in or out of the house, or without adequate clothing, food, or shelter, and even allowing children to live in a very dirty house.
- Emotional abuse of a child: is evidenced by severe anxiety, depression, withdrawal or improper aggressive behavior as diagnosed by a Medical Doctor or Psychologist, and caused by the acts or omissions of the parent or caretaker.
- Child sexual exploitation: is a form of sexual abuse that involves the manipulation and/or coercion of young people under the age of 18 in exchange for things such as money, gifts, accommodations, affection or status.
- Abandonment: means the failure of the parent to provide reasonable support and to maintain regular contact with the child, including providing normal supervision, when such failure is intentional and continues for an indefinite period.
- Suicidal Ideations, Threats or Attempts:
- Talk or mention of a “though-out” plan of action for actually taking their own life
- Previous suicide attempts or threats of suicide
- Preoccupation with death
- Sudden changes in behavior (acting out, violent behavior, drops in grades, etc.)
- Withdrawal from friends, family, or things that were once enjoyed
- Somatic complaints (sleeplessness or sleeping all the time)
- Self-Harm, Self-Injury or “Cutting”:
- Small, linear cuts on his/her body; typically on arms (forearms and wrists) and legs (upper and lower thighs).
- Typically, they are not suicidal attempts—it is merely a coping mechanism for students
- This has become a way for them to “feel.” By cutting, they no longer feel “numb” or the cut feels better than the overwhelming emotions they are trying to cope with.
- It is VERY addictive. According to psychiatrists, self-injury has an effect similar to cocaine and other drugs
- It is extremely contagious; please refrain from talking about this in a group setting. Stop and redirect to the conversation and speak one on one with them about it.
- They may wear clothes inappropriate for the season (ie. long sleeves in summer could indicate covering scars or cuts).
- Very often, self-harm is accompanied by an eating disorder.
What to do when a child discloses abuse to you
- Speak to the child in a public place that is out of earshot from others.
- Reassure the child, listen openly and calmly.
- Write down facts and words as the child states them. In regards to physical abuse, you are ONLY allowed to ask 4 questions: Who, What, When and Where.
- In a sexual abuse report, only information you have been given should be documented. DO NOT pry, investigate or ask further questions. This is for law enforcement to handle.
- Respect the child’s need for confidentiality. Only discuss the matter with a designated reporter or QuadCity Christian Church Staff member who is helping you facilitate a report.
- If a child is in imminent danger refer the situation to the officer on duty or call 911.
What NOT to say when talking with children
- “Why didn’t you stop him?” Avoid “why” questions that expect the child to take responsibility for being abused.
- “Are you telling me the truth?” “Are you making this up?” Don’t try to investigate. Just listen.
- “Let me know if this happens again.” Act quickly! A child may not be brave enough to speak up twice and could be seriously hurt during the next instance of abuse.
Tips for talking with children
- Be mindful of your body language. Come down to the child’s level. Give them space and don’t lean in too close while they are talking.
- Be aware of your facial expressions. Even if you are shocked or surprised by what you are hearing, try to maintain a calm expression.
- Never put words in a child’s mouth. Leading questions can hinder investigation. For example: If a child says, “My dad hurt me.” Don’t reply, “Did he touch you in a private place?” Instead ask, “How did he hurt you?” Minimize questioning. Limit the number of times a child is questioned. Leave the interview process to a trained professional investigator.
Thank you for taking the time to read through this content. We know that when we all work together and follow the policies, procedures, and safety guidelines, QuadCity Kids has the greatest ability to help kids take a first look at Jesus and continue to deepen their faith in Him. It also helps us to partner with parents well, helping them become the primary spiritual influence in their child's life.
Please take a moment to sign the agreement for service in QuadCity Kids.
You will need to do so in order to serve
The QuadCity Kids Leadership
P.S. - If you have any questions, comments, or concerns as you process through this content, don't hesitate to reach out to Cory Chatham at [email protected].