Communicate with families of children with special needs at church
Families of children with special needs have unfortunately experienced church hurt. Families have arrived with their children to church only to be told, “We aren’t equipped to deal with your child” or “We need you to stay with your child instead of going to worship.” In this blog post, we’ll talk about ways to communicate with families of children with special needs at church.
A Genuine Welcome
When families pull up to churches, they may do a “drop and dash” where they basically say, “Here’s my child, I’ll be in the service.” They aren’t trying to make your life as a KidMin Leader hard. It’s just that families have been rejected from churches, so if they hurry off, you won’t have time to tell them “no.”
Church greeters are the first people to welcome families to special needs ministry. For example, if a family in a big van pulls up and opens the back doors, it is not helpful to watch from inside the church and wonder what you are going to do with a child in a wheelchair. It’s more helpful if a greeter goes out, welcomes the family, and offers to help them inside. Make sure your greeters know what to do.
Get the Most Important Information
When you get a new child, it’s great if the parents have called you or filled out forms ahead of time. If they haven’t, it’s not the time to pepper visitors with questions. All you need to know are:
- Who are the parents/caretakers/guardians and how do you contact them?
- How do you make the child feel safe and loved during Sunday School?
It’s easy to see a child with personal needs coming in and feel overwhelmed about how to take care of them. Most of the time, families have already done that for you. We can take care of the child for 45-60 minutes while the family goes to their church opportunities (service or Sunday School). You can talk to the parents/caregivers more after church.
Here is the Editable Downloadable for Sunday School Notes
- Let Parents/Caregivers Know What Happened in Sunday School
Children with moderate-to-severe disabilities often can’t relate what happened in Sunday School. This one-page note helps them know the Bible lesson and what their child did. It’s easy for busy volunteers to fill out in seconds, and it goes a long way in showing the church truly welcomes the family.
Families of children with special needs want to know their child is safe and loved while they are at worship or classes. Use easy quick notes to communicate with families of children with special needs at church to establish relationships.
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