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Discussion Starter #1
<p>I'm in an email convo with the Children's director at a local church...Our most recent piece of exchange went like this:</p>
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<div class="text_exposed_root text_exposed" id="user_id_4d07af63799564321246673"><span>Me: What kind of process does the worker go through to work with children? Background check? Are they trained in basic first aid and CPR? Is there any other classes or training required?</span></div>
<div class="text_exposed_root text_exposed"><br><span>Her: We do run background checks on all workers and vo<span class="text_exposed_hide">...</span><span class="text_exposed_show">lunteers. We have never had an issue requiring any additional training and again we are a very small church and do our best to keep all the children safe and happy.<br><br>
Why does that reply bother me? Something makes me not want to take my son here. Trust me, I'm going with my Mommy Intuition with this one (I always do) I'm just not sure WHY it got triggered by this....Anyone else get the same kind of vibe?</span></span></div>
 

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<p>It seems very lackadaisical -- she doesn't sound at all interested in doing any preventative training. Kind of like the mindset "I survived childhood without seatbelts, so why should I worry about it now?" Well, duh, the ones who didn't survive aren't here to speak up. Having a child who carries an epipen, I would be really bothered by that response. I would be happier to hear something like, "If you're concerned, we can look into further training."</p>
 

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<p>I would not worry. I think it all sounds fine.</p>
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<p>I think you should ask what kind of training you want the volunteers to have...parenting classes? Religion classes? </p>
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<p>I also think it would be good to dig deep and think about what is really bothering you. Is it possible that you would not be comfortable leaving your child regardless, and so you are focusing in on this to give a reason?</p>
 

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<p>Also, think seriously about what a volunteer there does. The director will tell them what to do, then they will be in a Sunday school classroom, or someplace else, in a church gym, sanctuary, etc, probably with another volunteer, with the director all of an ears shot away, following her instructions. </p>
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<p>Are you and your husband personally CPR and first aid certified? If not, and your child spends the majority of his time home alone with one or both of you, why would it bother you if your child goes someplace for a very short time, with others present, possibly even you present, where there are adults helping out who are not certified? </p>
 

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Go with your Mommy intuition.
 

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<p>It wouldn't bother me as long as I met the person first and they seem ok. There are many instances of people with background checks and training who hurt children and many time people with no checks do so as well but most of the time it works out just fine. I used to go to religion classes during the week in the parish school and the teachers were volunteers. What are you expecting? A small church likely doesn't have the funds to do background training and classes. Sure they can ask for these things but if they required it they probably wouldn't have any volunteers. If you're so concerned why not volunteer to run it yourself?</p>
 

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Discussion Starter #7
<br><br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>Lisa1970</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1285458/why-does-this-bother-me#post_16115982"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a><br><br><p>Also, think seriously about what a volunteer there does. The director will tell them what to do, then they will be in a Sunday school classroom, or someplace else, in a church gym, sanctuary, etc, probably with another volunteer, with the director all of an ears shot away, following her instructions. </p>
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<p>Are you and your husband personally CPR and first aid certified? If not, and your child spends the majority of his time home alone with one or both of you, why would it bother you if your child goes someplace for a very short time, with others present, possibly even you present, where there are adults helping out who are not certified? </p>
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<br><br><p>I'm not officially certified. However, I am trained in basic first aid and part of the class was a brief discussion on CPR (not extensive enough to certify but enough to KNOW) and my DH learned Self Aid and Buddy Care in Basic Training (basically the same thing as what I have under my belt)</p>
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<p>I've also worked with youth and in the nursery before and they required a background check and a "safe sanctuary" training (basically a sexual abuse course) before you were allowed to be a worker.</p>
 

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Discussion Starter #8
<div class="fbChatMessage fsm" id="user_msg_500785785_79346075">They also dont have an official notification system...she said they have her cell phone number and use that to let HER know to get a parent</div>
<div class="fbChatMessage fsm" id="user_msg_500785785_2797369065">that bothers me too</div>
 

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<p> </p>
<p>What kind of program is it? What kind of role do the "workers" have? Are they paid or volunteer? </p>
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<p>If it's a 45 minute Sunday school class while the parents are listening to the sermon, I would have fewer expectations than if it was a week-night individual counseling program running when no one else was in the church. </p>
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<p>I have fewer expectations for volunteers than I do for paid workers. It would be nice if there is a requirement that all volunteers have CPR/First Aid certification, Early Childhood Education training, etc., but I don't think I would expect it if they are supervising children for a short period of time. We don't require people to get CPR/First Aid certification before they become parents.</p>
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<p>I can see that sexual assault prevention and anti-bullying programs might be a good idea, again depending on the role of the workers and the kind of programs they are involved in. As a hockey coach, DH has had to take part in these kinds of programs.   </p>
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<p>If they are paid workers running longer programs, I can understand seeking higher qualifications.  </p>
 

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Discussion Starter #10
<br><br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>ollyoxenfree</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1285458/why-does-this-bother-me#post_16116070"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a><br><br><p> </p>
<p>What kind of program is it? What kind of role do the "workers" have? Are they paid or volunteer? </p>
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<p>If it's a 45 minute Sunday school class while the parents are listening to the sermon, I would have fewer expectations than if it was a week-night individual counseling program running when no one else was in the church. </p>
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<p>I have fewer expectations for volunteers than I do for paid workers. It would be nice if there is a requirement that all volunteers have CPR/First Aid certification, Early Childhood Education training, etc., but I don't think I would expect it if they are supervising children for a short period of time. We don't require people to get CPR/First Aid certification before they become parents.</p>
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<p>I can see that sexual assault prevention and anti-bullying programs might be a good idea, again depending on the role of the workers and the kind of programs they are involved in. As a hockey coach, DH has had to take part in these kinds of programs.   </p>
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<p>If they are paid workers running longer programs, I can understand seeking higher qualifications.  </p>
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<p><br>
Yeah, she said it's a paid worker. I guess there's 3-5 kids in there at one time...</p>
 

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<p>I agree... go with your intuition. However, ds attends a small church based preschool/playschool. They are very "unofficial" in all that they do... I seriously doubt any of the caregivers have training beyond the absolute minimum requirements. However, it is the only place I can imagine him being! He is well cared for, in a small group situation, and dearly loved by his grandmotherly-type "teachers". The facility has an awesome outdoor area and he absolutely loves his 3.5 hours there.</p>
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<p>Also, the director, a retired schoolteacher, gives her cell number to the parents. Personally, if we need to call or get in touch, I love the fact that I'm getting someone in the classroom with the kids and not a secretary who is a building away. I like the fact that the preschool community/school is small enough that she feels comfortable giving her cell number out. Dds elementary school and teacher would never divulge such highly classified information! lol</p>
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<p>IMO, "unofficial" can be a blessing in disguise...</p>
 

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<p>What size church are we talking about?</p>
 

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Discussion Starter #13
<br><br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>phathui5</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1285458/why-does-this-bother-me#post_16116149"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a><br><br><p>What size church are we talking about?</p>
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<br><br><p>No idea. She just keeps saying "small"</p>
 

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<p>i go to a relatively large meeting for worship, though compared to a church we are very small.  it is very hard finding enough members to volunteer to teach first day school and i think that if they required CPR or other training besides that, they probably wouldn't have enough volunteers to run it.  we can't afford to have that kind of training, though they do keep at least 2 adults in each room so if there is an issue someone can run for parent/help.  i believe that nursery position (which is paid) are 2 girls that have had the babysitter training offered by the local hospital (which includes infant CPR), but again, that is paid adn so many teenagers have had that training that i don't think it would be hard to find that (typically there are only 2 babies/toddlers in there)</p>
<p>so, IME, if it is very small with only volunteers and few kids in each class, i could understand if they don't/can't require the extra training/background check.  and FWIW, the child molestors that i have known would have passed any background check cause they hadn't been caught/reported yet anyway.  most would pass a background check. </p>
 

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<p><br>
 </p>
<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>AFWife</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1285458/why-does-this-bother-me#post_16115923"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a><br><br><p>I'm in an email convo with the Children's director at a local church...Our most recent piece of exchange went like this:</p>
<p> </p>
<div class="text_exposed_root text_exposed" id="user_id_4d07af63799564321246673"><span>Me: What kind of process does the worker go through to work with children? Background check? Are they trained in basic first aid and CPR? Is there any other classes or training required?</span></div>
<div class="text_exposed_root text_exposed"><br><span>Her: We do run background checks on all workers and vo<span class="text_exposed_hide">...</span><span class="text_exposed_show">lunteers. We have never had an issue requiring any additional training and again we are a very small church and do our best to keep all the children safe and happy.<br><br>
Why does that reply bother me? Something makes me not want to take my son here. Trust me, I'm going with my Mommy Intuition with this one (I always do) I'm just not sure WHY it got triggered by this....Anyone else get the same kind of vibe?</span></span></div>
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<p><br>
I don't get the same vibe from what you describe, but that may simply be the limitation of this thread.  At worst the director sounded defensive.   Do you already have experience with Sunday School at a bigger church that has more resources?  So maybe this smaller church is suffering by comparison?  When, ages ago, I was a Sunday school teacher, we had back ground checks and a day-long seminar on how to deal with child abuse.  This was a medium-sized church with kind of an older population.  I think if it had been one of those large churches with a large population of kids they would have had more money and could pay for cpr/first aid lessons. </p>
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<p>Sounds like how my church runs, and I leave my younger kid in the nursery and the older one in RE.  They probably just don't have the money for classes and it's really hard for small churches to find enough volunteers to do things without requiring outside stuff.  She said that they do background checks, so it's CPR training and that kind of thing.  Someone has to pay for that, and small churches are on small budgets.</p>
 

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<p>Our church is very small.</p>
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<p>We require background checks. The lead director goes to trainings and trains volunteers. We also rely on peoples outside knowledge (like my background in education)</p>
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<p>We have a policy in place where no one is ever alone with a child, its always at least two. This however isn't a fail safe.</p>
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<p>All in all I would go with your mommy gut. I had a staff person removed from access to my son because I flat out told the pastors wife I would never leave my child with access to this staff member and I think many others people would be turned away from the church if they thought she would be in charge of their child. (I mean creep reading of 10, but then again she was a volunteer and there weren't any children at the church at that time, since her removal people have started to come)</p>
 

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<p>I guess I don't understand the setting. I used to teach CCD (volunteer) and we were all background-checked & went through an abuse seminar. Anybody that volunteers through the church (all local churches of our denomination) is supposedly required to go through the same thing. I do feel that makes sense in a religious ed setting where there is generally one teacher to a room full of students. But our church now, a small/midsize one, has a Sunday morning kid's program which is about 20 minutes & in the basement of our church. I have no idea if the teacher went through any training/background check but there are always older kids & occasionally parents down there so it's not a situation I would worry about, plus the parents are all right upstairs, she could scream for help if there was an emergency. DH or I always go down with DS though, not because we don't trust the instructor but because he's not even 2 and the program is geared more toward school-age kids so one of us goes to help DS.</p>
 

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Discussion Starter #19
<p>I think what bothers me is the standoffish vibe of the reply....not so much the lack of CPR training. (Although, a basic knowledge of first aid would be nice)</p>
 

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<p>Am I understanding correctly that you haven't actually visited this church?  Perhaps you are just looking for reasons to rule it out? </p>
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<p>It is difficult to interpret tone from an email.  Maybe she is just busy at the moment and was trying to get an email off to you before running off to do other things.  At my church the children are having their Christmas pageant this weekend, so the children's Pastor is running around like a chicken with her head cut off.  It is a busy time of year. </p>
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<p>I would call our church medium sized - we have about 300 people turn up any given Sunday.  We have a lot of young families though, so the kid's program is large.  DD's Sunday School class has 30 kids in it aged 2 to 5.  Any volunteers have background checks done, and once a year they have a "training lunch" where they mainly talk about classroom management.  About 10 adults are needed every service, plus there are lots of teenagers who help out, so the cost of formal training and first aid would be huge. </p>
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<p>Since it is a small church I think their notification system is reasonable.  Our church assigns each family a number and there is a display at the front of the sanctuary that will show the number if a parent is needed.  But that is hard wired into the building.  At least they have a system for someone to come get you! </p>
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<p>Personally, I would prefer to attend a church that has more than 5 kids my daughter's age.  One of the reasons I love my church so much is because of the high number of young families.  So although I see nothing wrong with the information given, I would prefer a church with a larger kids program.  My DD has lots of friends from church, and I love that they will all grow up together while sharing the same religious values. </p>
 
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