What Would You Do? – Fall 2022

Monday, October 24th, 2022

You are working in the children’s department at your church and parents are starting to arrive for pickup. Someone comes to the checkout area and says they are a family friend of one of the children, and that the parents asked them to pick up the child while they were speaking to the pastor. The child runs over and seems to know the person. What do you do?

In this case, you should say “Sorry, you are not listed as a parent or guardian and are not authorized to pick up the child. Please have the parents come and pick them up.”

This type of scenario is the reason that your church or organization needs to have clear policies in place. In this case, a checkout policy would ensure that everyone knows the rules. For example, in some churches, parents or guardians must have an access card with their child’s name on it.

Although the child seems to know the person, you have no idea whether the parents authorized the pickup. Even if you know all of the parties, it’s still important to follow the policy every time. When the parents pick up the child, remind them that the policy is for the safety of everyone involved. A minor inconvenience can go a long way toward peace of mind.