Checklist for VBS Safety

Checklist for VBS Safety
May 21, 2019 Bob D'Ambrosio

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Volunteers recruited: check.
Materials ordered: check.
Kids registered: check.

Now all that’s left is to review the items on this safety list to make this summer’s VBS the best ever!

1.    Check-In

Establish a check-in/check-out system, particularly for younger children, so kids are released only to parents or authorized persons. Some churches use color-coded cards, badges, or bracelets to help with this process. Various online programs are also available. Find out if your current church data management system has this capability.

2.    Screen Everyone

While you believe that no one in your VBS program would ever physically or sexually abuse a child, it’s impossible to know the background of every adult and youth that may want to help. Background checks can be a strong deterrent to those who might target a church because they think they can get easy access to children without being screened. Let your entire congregation know that background checks will be mandatory for everyone working with the children in your VBS program.

3.    Extra Eyes

Given the increased number of people on your campus, it’s critical to provide an adequate number of trained volunteers who will supervise VBS children. A minimum of two leaders should be assigned to each group of kids. Also, with all the commotion, VBS is a great time to utilize roving supervisors to monitor the building. As with all church activities, avoid isolated settings where one child is left alone with one adult.

4.    Info Available

Keep children’s registration forms easily accessible so you can call parents or caregivers in case of serious injury or sickness. Registration forms should list any food or medication allergies. Have alternative snacks available, such as flavored rice cakes, popcorn, fruits, or raw vegetables, to accommodate children with specific food allergies.

5.    Neat and Tidy

Many accidents can be prevented by having a well-maintained building. Make sure the areas designated for children are clear of potential hazards. Remove broken or dangerous items, and lock storage areas that contain chemicals, cleaning solutions, or other toxic materials.

Use these tips to ensure the safety of all your summer ministry programs. Most important—have fun![/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_separator][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]– – Taken from a recent Shepherd’s Watch newsletter. Sign up today for Shepherd’s Watch Background Checks and receive your free monthly newsletter filled with advice and tips on keeping your church safe.

(We love to provide tips to keep your ministry safe. You may also want to consult your local legal advisors to get their perspective on this topic!)[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

Bob D’Ambrosio is a 25-year veteran of frontline church ministry and now serves with Group’s content solutions team. He’s a trainer for volunteer equipping, a Refresh the Church blogger, and a ministry coach for Group U. Bob is a contributing author and general editor of the E4:12 Bible Study Series Better Together: Connecting to God and Others and Leading Out: Connecting People to Purpose.


  1. Stephanie 5 years ago

    Thank you for the tips! I greatly appreciate.

    • Author
      Bob D'Ambrosio 5 years ago

      I’m glad you find it helpful!

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