According to the most recent census data, 56.7 million people in the United States have a disability. That is nearly one in every five people. When 400 families of children with special needs were asked, nearly 50% reported that they did not participate in faith-based activities because their child was not welcome or included.
The goal of the new special needs ministry here at Concordia is to create a place where families of children and youth with special needs can comfortably and confidently attend worship. Through new and existing programs, we hope to minister to each member of the family so that they will be able to ultimately call Concordia their spiritual home.
We first require that a parent or guardian completes an intake form for their child. The questions are asked for the benefit of your child and so that we may provide the best experience and safest environment for everyone involved. Our church and our children’s ministry workers and volunteers respect your family’s right to privacy. Any information shared from the intake form is communicated directly with those caring for your child and only on a “need to know” basis.
To ensure that we have the most up to date information about your child with special needs, you will be contacted annually to update the form before the commencement of children and youth programming in the fall.
We plan to offer several programming options through the special needs ministry in order to meet your child’s individual needs. Some examples include:
- inclusion in regularly scheduled programming with no extra assistance
- inclusion in regularly scheduled programming with minimal extra assistance
- inclusion in regularly scheduled programming with one-on-one assistance with a trained youth or adult “buddy”
- alternate programming in a smaller self-contained class
As we work to obtain and train qualified volunteers to work with the children and youth in the special needs ministry, certain accommodations may not be available at any given time.
Please note that at this time, if your child is unable to feed themselves or toilet independently or exhibits behaviors that are deemed unsafe for themselves or those around them, one parent or guardian must remain in the building while your child participates in programs and activities.
Interested in being a Buddy for the Special Needs Ministry?