Managing the details of your child check-in visitors

In this article

Managing child check-in visitors
Managing the auto-deleting of visiting children from check-in
Importing child visitor information

Managing child check-in visitors

With Child Check-in its never been easier to securely enter and retain the details of any visiting children coming to your groups.

To see a list of all those visiting children simply head to the Visitors report in the Children > Reports section (it's one of the "Check-In" reports). This report will display all information entered about the visitor, including any medical information, parental contact details and any notes logged against the visitor child.

Top Tip! Welcoming visitors more effectively...

Whenever a visiting parent completes the Visitor check-in process and submits personal data about their visitor child, a confirmation email is always sent to the parent email address (if an email is supplied on the Visitor form). That confirmation contains full details of the personal data that was submitted, presented in an obfuscated format (partially starred out contact details, rather than open format).

However, you might like to send a more welcoming communication to visitors. This can easily be done by creating a Preset 'welcome' email (In Administrator > Presets), and then set that Preset as the "Success" confirmation email, which will be sent to visitor parents (if an email is supplied on the Visitor form). ChurchSuite will then add the personal data confirmation section to the end of your Preset email before sending. 

Having created your visitor Preset, head in to your Children module settings and navigate to the Visitors section on the Connect tab to select your Preset "Confirmation Email".

Subject to the consent of a visiting child's parents and your church's Data Protection policy and Privacy Notice, you may be able to add visiting children to your Children module. You can easily add a Visitor child (and their parent contact details) to the Children module by selecting "Add child" from the cogwheel menu on the right-hand side of each visitor child listed.

It's also possible to edit the details of visiting children - perhaps to correct a mistake or add in (with consent) import medical information you subsequently learn. Simply select "Edit visitor" from the action cog menu on the right hand side of a visitor child in the list.. make any changes necessary.

Selecting "View" for any visitor child...

...allows a User to view the full details for the visitor and any changes that have been made since the visitor was first added/checked in...

The Visitors report includes the ability to filter report results by either the number of visitor check-ins and/or when last checked-in. Click 'Generate' after changing your report filters.

The "Communicate" drop-down menu provide the option to send the Visitors report by email, or to communicate directly with Visitor parents by SMS or Email - perhaps to send a preset Email asking permission to add their contact details to your database. The Visitors report can also be downloaded in CSV or PDF formats.

Top Tip!

Although it's not possible to add a child visitor's parent directly in the Address Book in the same way as you can a visitor child; in cases where the visitor child's parent does consent to having their details stored in the Address Book, you can simply use the "Add parent" option on the newly-added child profile page. In the example below, "Add parent" will create a new Address Book profile for Julian Adams, with all his unlinked parent contact details added too; and Julian will be auto-linked to his daughter Sally.

Managing the auto-deleting of visiting children from check-in

As you know, ChurchSuite's children check-in system ably handles visiting children; allowing you to quickly and easily register them for your church's children's groups whilst also delivering robust safeguarding around visitor child check-in and check-out.

Visiting children are not automatically added to your Children module contacts; but are instead recorded in "Children" > "Reports" > "Visitors" - allowing you to follow up with frequently visiting families and add them to your database appropriately.

Since Data Protection legislation provides that churches should not retain data any longer than needed, ChurchSuite will automatically remove visitors after a pre-defined period of time. However, for safeguarding record purposes, when the visitor record is removed from the Visitors section the name of the visitor is retained against the group's attendance record - essentially a text record of the visitor's name is retained forever (as long as the group itself is retained) - but the "profile" of the visitor is removed, e.g their name, date of birth, parent name, email, etc so that unnecessary information is not retained past the retention time period the church chooses.

In this example below, note the blue message at the top of the screen that reminds you that visiting children will be deleted after 3 months of check-in inactivity.

Importantly, this visitor details retention period can be modified.

In your Children module settings, click on the "Connect" options menu and scroll down to the Visitors section (as shown below).

From the drop-down menu you can change your children visitor details retention period to suit your church's data retention policy. Remember to save any changes made.

Importing child visitor information

You may find it useful to be able to import your child visitor data held in other systems or from past events or groups you've run. This could be useful if you're planning to use Child Check-in and you want those previous visitors to be able to check-in easily without have to re-enter all their details again. Here's how to import child visitor information.

Go to your Children module > Reports and locate the "Visitors" report in the Check-In section.

Select "Import Visitors".

Scrolling down the screen you'll find useful information about how to prepare your file in the correct format ready to import. There's also an example file you can download and use as a starting point for your own data.

Tip - Mandatory Fields

Ensure that you include data for the following fields:

  • First Name
  • Last Name
  • Date of Birth

Once you're ready to proceed with the import, scroll back up the screen and select "Choose File". Browse to the CSV file on your computer and select it. Then click "Import CSV File".

Before your data is finally imported, there's an opportunity to preview the import and see which fields ChurchSuite will import your data into. Note the "CSV Header" column - this can be useful when selecting what to match the field that ChurchSuite should "Import As". Make any changes necessary, noting that any fields with yellow exclamation marks next to them will not be imported - probably because ChurchSuite doesn't recognise the "CSV Header" - this is fixed by selecting the correct field from the drop-down list, or selecting "Do not import".

Once you are happy to proceed, click "Import Visitors" to complete the process. The newly imported child visitors are now included in your "Children" > "Reports" > "Visitors" report, along with any previous child visitors you had there. Further information can be found on managing child visitors and processing them into your Children module contacts - please see our related articles below.

A summary report of the visitors imported is displayed, along with any errors detected.

There are 2 types of import errors:

Failures - the visitor is not imported
Errors - the visitor is imported but the error fields are empty

A brief explanation of the columns are, as follows

Column name Comment
Row The row number in the CSV file
Name Name of person, if applicable
Field The column name in the CSV file with an error
Error A brief description of the error detected
Data The contents of the field in error for that record

Clear Errors - If any errors are detected the report will continue to be displayed until the 'Clear Errors' button (at the top right) is clicked and confirmation that the errors are to be deleted.

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