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3 Things You Need to Know About Check-In Systems

In an effort to keep children safe in your ministry, here are 3 things you need to know about check-in systems.


How safe are the kids in your ministry? Do you excuse children midway through a worship service, without parental supervision, to go to children’s ministry programs? Do you have parents check their children into and out of your classrooms or ministry areas? Do you excuse children from classes at a set time without requiring parental check-out? Do you track medical and special care concerns? Do you track the people who are authorized to pick up a child?

These questions can be tough to think about for a church not using a check-in system of some kind. However, whether big or small, all churches need to do their best to look after their children, and a check-in system is a great starting point. In fact, I’d say it’s a necessity in today’s world. If your church doesn’t have a check-in system, read on. Here are three things you need to know about check-in systems.

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1. Parents are looking for safety measures.

“We are a culture that values the safety of our kids…If parents come in and perceive that this is not a safe place for their children, they will not bring them.”-Jody Brolsma, Executive Editor/VBS Champion at Group.

Today’s parents are not as likely to simply drop off their children to someone they’ve never met. Parents want to know their kids are safe, and a check-in system or policy will help ease their concerns- and keep your ministry out of hot water.

2. Check-in processes are brief.

Some fear that by implementing a check-in system, too much time is being taken out of Sunday school. In his article Check ‘Em In and Out, David Posthuma talks about one horror story where a family had to wait 35 minutes to get their three children checked in. But that doesn’t have to be the case. David shares some tips to make check-in systems quick and effective.

3. Not all professional check-in systems are the same.

With so much at stake, it’s a great idea to look into professional check-in systems. Just like you’d do research before buying a new curriculum, you have to do your homework when looking at check-in systems. Many companies offer different levels of service for different prices. Depending on your needs, you’re looking at roughly anywhere from $200 to $70,000. Quite a gap, but the good news is that these providers offer many options in this range so you can find what works best for you. And if the thought of doing your homework hurts your head, don’t worry! We have a handy cheat sheet for you right here!

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And while we’re talking about the safety of our children, consider doing background checks on your volunteers. Check out this previous blog post where I talk with Melissa Towers, the Adult and Church Leadership Product Manager for Group, about why it’s so important for churches to screen their volunteers.

What steps do you take to keep your kids safe? Let us know using the comment section below! And if you’ve found this post helpful or interesting, please share, tweet, or pin!


One thought on “3 Things You Need to Know About Check-In Systems

  1. Great post! Thanks David for sharing the information. Secure children’s check-in and back ground checks are essential elements to any safe plan. I would also add a written application, personal references (that are actually contacted), a face-to-face interview, a social media check, and implementing a waiting period of 30 to 60 days before a volunteer is allowed direct contact with children. Together these items can create a truly comprehensive screening process.

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