When new families walk into your church for the first time (after they’ve probably checked out your website), the last thing they want to do is fill out a really long medical and media release form that seems like they’re signing their lives away. But forms like these are important for protecting you, your team, and the children you serve.

So use a separate visitor information form that covers the basics, and if they decide to come back for a special event, then you can ask them to complete the full medical and media release form that all of the families in your ministry fill out.

This week for Admin April, I’m sharing both my New Kid Information Form for visiting families and my full Medical and Media Release Form (in both print and digital formats) that all participating families complete every year.

New Kid Information Form: Use on Sunday mornings for new families and visitors. This is quick and simple but still helps you gather all of the information you need. I kept hard copies on hand each week, or you can create a digital version of this form using Google Forms or a program like Jotform. Anytime a new family visited our church, I asked parents to complete the New Kid Information form BEFORE leaving their child in our care. This allowed several things…

  • We were legally allowed to care of their child in the case of an emergency.
  • If the child ended up in any pictures from the morning, we could still use the pictures.
  • It gave us the information we needed to follow up with the family (I always sent an email to the parents on Monday or Tuesday and sent the children a postcard in the mail.)

Medical and Media Release Form: Use for regular attenders, special events, retreats, VBS, etc. Families complete this form only once a year, and it covers them for every event. (Some churches ask for a new medical and media release form for each event – parents hate that! Having a general medical and media release form allows you to keep event registration forms shorter and still have all of the information you need.) Once I had a Medical and Media Release Form on File for each family, the form was good for the year and covered them for all special events that calendar year. Each January, I ask parents to complete a new medical and media release form.

While I always kept Medical and Media Release Forms in print form at every event (just in case), I also started asking families to complete the form online. This allowed me to stay more organized and find information more easily in the event of a crisis. Instead of digging through my alphabetized hard copies that may or may not be nearby, I could quickly look up a parent’s contact information on my phone when little Tommy got sick at VBS. When you download the Registration Forms from the DKM Marketplace, I give you exclusive access to the digital versions of the forms too! 

Want to see more from Admin April 2018? Check out the other administrative tips and resources here.

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