The Child Friendly Church Award Scheme was created to help churches consider how they "welcome and integrate children and their families into the worshipping life of their church". The scheme has been introduced to encourage churches to consider how to put children and families on their agendas and to work towards certain targets. Thus obtain a certificate and an award to be displayed as appropriate.
This is a voluntary scheme, with a light touch, so there is just one simple tick-list to complete! However, this is not just an exercise in ticking all the "yes" boxes. It is more about recognising the importance of children and young people in the local church, and continually improving how we welcome them and ministry with them.
1. A Child Protection Policy is in place, being implemented, and regularly reviewed.
2. The church buildings offer a safe environment.
3. On-going training and support for leaders is in place.
4. There is provision for children's and youth nurturing groups 0-18 yrs
5. There are opportunities for children and young people to be included in child friendly church services.
6. Suitable materials for under 5's are available in church.
7. There are opportunities for the voices of under 18's to be heard.
8. Feedback is obtained from children and young people.
9. There is a vision for Youth and Children's Work.
Process for awarding:
- Nominations from any source
- Registration and Pack sent out
- Church Meeting meet to consider the set criteria*
- Self-assessment process undertaken
- Form returned to Synod CYDO
- CYDO visits the church
- CYDO reports back to CYDO team meeting, who decide whether to issue award
- Church is presented with the award
- Church receives dated certificate and logo to display
- Elders' commit themselves to an annual review of criteria
- Synod follow-up progress made and re-award after 3 years
* The Elders or other suitable group may carry out the review and present their findings to Church Meeting.