Friday, October 17, 2008

Question for the Community: Website Policies

I work in a Presbytery office, so we get a lot of calls or emails asking for things that range from easy to simply bizarre.  Every once in a while we get a great question that begins conversation in the office and among others involved in the Presbytery.  I got once such email this week from a Youth Director at a church of about 1,000 members.

We've been wondering for a long time about how to write / adopt a policy on posting pictures of minors on our church website. We really want to get some real, official documentation together on this and set up a GPC-Wide policy on this matter.

I've heard that there is a group at the Presbytery level that is working on this very project. Could you get me in touch with them? OR, if they have already produced some policies on this which we can just use as a reference and follow, could you send me that information?

Our Presbytery Policy is that we do not post any pictures of children, due in part to the fact that we do not have direct contact with the families that are involved to have any good discussion about the value.  If a church sends us an announcement that includes pictures of children, we will use that based on the idea that the church has such a relationship. 
So - what is the policy at your church? 


Rob Monroe said...

Since I'm also the webmaster on my church website, I'll post our policy stuff here, too:

We include pictures of children, but we're sure to remove ANY information that could reveal either a first or last name.

I also make it a goal to not have pictures of any one child. We use group shots, partly in an effort to show the diversity of our church, but also to prevent a particular child being singled out.

We have talked with parents about it from time to time, and the only complaint we've gotten is that there is too much of another child and not enough of their own!

Sarahlynn said...

Oh, good question/discussion topic!

Stushie said...

We post pictures of events, but we don't post names.

Jody Harrington said...

Schools all have policies about posting children's photos and information and usually require written consent from the parent.

A good source would be your local public school district's community relations officer who could share their policy and consent forms for your consideration.

Mark Smith said...

We post pictures of children, but never post their names in a public location.

Facebook is the exception - we'll tag our youth (if they're on Facebook) on photos there because only friends of the photo's owner can see the pictures.