Church Website Child Protection
... keeping our children safe on the Internet
Most churches these days have some form of child protection policy. But few churches consider how this should be applied to the church website. As you don't know who will be visiting your site, following these guidelines should keep you in the clear:
- Never include the names of children on the church site
- Avoid using children's names in image filenames (use something generic, like image1.jpg) and image descriptions
- Image descriptions (ALT tag) should say something broad, yet applicable; for example, 'Sunday School Fun'
- Don't include too many pictures of children on your web site (always get signed parental permission for pictures)
- Consider using generic stock photography of children.
- Never give out email addresses belonging to children
- For their protection, you may wish to have a discussion in your church youth group about safe surfing. Get someone 'in the know' to lead this discussion
If your church does not have a child protection policy we urge you to contact the Churches' Child Protection Advisory Service (CCPAS). If your policy hasn't been reviewed recently then please contact CCPAS (or the relevant organisation for your country) for current guidelines and best practice.