Safe Bay Special Needs Ministries
Purpose Statement: The purpose of our special needs ministry is to help all children with special needs, in whatever capacity they are able, build a lasting foundation of faith and to learn about the love of God and basic Biblical truths that will help shape their lives.
It is our passion to provide a loving, safe and accepting environment for families with special needs. We realize that Special Needs Families are looking for a church home where they and their children will be accepted and included; where they can grow and discover their indispensable role in the body of Christ.
This ministry is for all children (VIP’s—Very Included Persons) with special needs ages PK-Middle school. Children and families are screened and children are matched with a trained PAL (Provides Access to the Lord) who serves as an assistant or aide in the classroom. Along with their PAL children attend a regular class with their same-aged peers. Our Safe Bay room is available whenever a child needs a break, or when a child is unable to be integrated into a regular class.
We are able to make accommodations for your child such as communication boards and schedules, help with transitions between activities, and accommodating curriculum/instruction.
“Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” ~Matthew 19:14
1. All children are valuable
•All children were created in the image of God (Genesis 1:26)
•All children matter to God (Luke 19:10)
•All children were called by God (Eph 2:10)
2. Community is valuable
•All children are indispensable in the Body of Christ. (1 Cor 12:22)
•Biblical community and authentic relationships are critical for all
children (Acts 2:42-47)
•All children need to feel accepted and included (1 Cor 9:22)
3. Spiritual Growth is valuable
• We must strive to provide access to God’s world to every child so
that they too may grow in their walk with him. (1 Peter 2:2)
Safe Bay & PALs: This ministry will operate every Sunday at the 9:15 am service only.
For Parents: Parents, we know taking your special needs child to a new location can be traumatic for all involved. We want this process to be as smooth and as stress-free as possible! We will meet with you ahead of time and get all the information on your child so that we can place your child with the best PAL possible!
1. What is your definition of ‘special needs’? Any child who needs extra assistance to participate in Children’s Ministry, whether for a short period of time or for an extended period of time. (Whether diagnosed or not).
2. What will be the primary means of communication if we want to attend? We will ask you to make a reservation with our PALS Coordinator so that we will have your PAL ready for you and your child. This can be done via email.
3. What will the specially-equipped room be like? It will contain a sensory area, rocking chairs, rugs, bean bags and other calming tools.
4. What process do potential PALs go through before they can start? All PALS will be interviewed, reference-checked, thoroughly screened and background checked.
Volunteer Requirements, Policies and Forms
PALs do not have to have a background in special needs. We will train you!!! We welcome adults and teens alike who love kids and have a heart for these amazing kids.
Specialists such as pediatric occupational therapists, physical or speech therapists, nurses or doctors, special education teachers or aides are helpful. This ministry will not be able to grow and thrive without dedicated volunteers to serve as PALs or in an administrative role.
1.Fill out an application. We want to match every child with the best fit possible.
2.You will go through a screening process including an interview, reference and background check.
3.You will be assigned to a child and then will meet with the child and his/her family.
•Current (even new is ok!) Christian excited to be on a walk with the Lord!
•Be willing to submit to a complete background check (over 18)
•Be available for regular training
•LOTS of patience
•Willing to love on the little ones!
We have openings for regularly scheduled roles as well as substitute and on-call roles. For more information, contact Gale Wysong at GaleW@baysidewest.com