How to link a child to their parent
ChurchSuite makes it easy to link parents and children to one another other across the Address Book and Children modules. For parents that are not in the Address Book you can still record parent contact details against the child. Here's how to link a child to a parent...
Make sure that parent and child are in the correct, respective module(s)
To link a child in the Children module with a parent in the Address Book you first need to ensure the parent is in the Address Book module. Children can exist in the Children module without a linked parent in the Address Book - referred to as an unlinked child - with the parent contact details recorded against the child contact.
Link the child to the parent
Working within the Children section of the Children module, locate the child and open their profile "View" page. Select Edit.
On the Edit child page locate the Link to a contact option.
Select between Not in the Address Book - in which case you can manually enter the child's parent contact details in the fields provided (Note that the parent Contact name is required) - or select In the Address Book and use the search to locate the child's linked contact - the list of matching results will auto-suggest as you type. It's only necessary to select and link to one adult parent contact as the child will be auto-linked to their other parent by virtue of the linked spouse/partner relationship status of the primary linked parent.
The linked contact address and contact details are automatically populated against the child - the fields are 'greyed out' and not editable here, but can be updated by editing the linked adult contact's profile if necessary. Note the option to select a different adult-child Relationship.
Save the child's profile. The linked parent contact is shown in the child's profile and the At this address section on the right-hand side of the profile lists all the linked family members.
Note that some family relationships will not show fully unless the family member's sex is specifically set to male or female. For example, the following child's mother has her sex set to 'female' so ChurchSuite can determine that Geri is the child's 'mother'. While Geri is married to Shane and he is the child's linked parent and they all live at the same address, Shane is not showing as the child's 'father' because is sex is set as unknown.
As you link each child in a family to a parent, sibling relationships and relationships to other household members are also created.
Does it matter which parent you link the child to?
For instance, you may find yourself linking one child to their mother and another child in the same family to the father. Not to worry - ChurchSuite puts all the pieces together - as long as "Mother" and "Father" are linked in the Address Book by a marital status of married, separated or cohabiting.
Why can I only link a child to one parent?
This is just a matter of keeping things simple. In the vast majority of situations you only need to link a child to one parent because as long as both parents are linked in the Address Book, the system will automatically link the child to the other parent too.
If the child's parents are not linked by marital status - perhaps if they are divorced - then if both parents are still in the church and therefore still in your Address Book, you will need to amicably agree with them pastorally which parent is to be used for the linking. Typically this would be the parent with whom the child normally resides - since the child inherits the address and contact details of the linked parent contact. However, in this scenario, note that there are optional fields (enabled in the Children module's settings) for adding Additional [parent] mobile and Additional [parent] email addresses. This information will ensure that the other parent can still included in your parent communications.
The Additional Email and Additional Mobile fields carry the same communications priority as the linked parent, so any communication sent as Send to Parent will go to the linked/unliked parent and also to the additional parent contact, ensuring divorced parents are both kept informed. The Send to all Parents option will send in the same way, but will also include the linked partner/spouse of the linked parent.
Additional Parent contact fields
The Additional Email(s) field and Additional Mobile(s) fields are optional fields that must first be enabled in the Children module's settings before they can be used. Click on the cog wheels icon in the top-right corner of the module and locate the Child Fields settings on the Module tab.
What if the child's parents are not in the Address Book?
There are many times where a child or young person is part of your Children module but the parents are not associated with the church and therefore do not exist in your Address Book. In this scenario simply select Not in the Address Book and complete the parent contact details. If necessary, use the Additional Email and Additional Mobile fields for a second parent's contact details.
When adding multiple children from the same family whose parents are Not in the Address Book, ChurchSuite will auto-suggest potential parent contacts from existing unlinked children records. In this way the same parent contact details (email, telephone, address etc) can be assigned to all children that belong to the same family without the need to re-enter all the parent contact details.
Subject to appropriate approval, you can also easily add a Not in the Address Book parent to the Address Book using the Add parent option. Adding the parent to the Address Book in this way will automatically create the parent-child links and show the parent-child At this address.
What happens if you delete a linked parent from the Address Book?
When you delete an Address Book contact who is a linked parent of one or more children, ChurchSuite will unlink the parent from each child and retain the parent contacts details (name, address, email, mobile, telephone) against each unlinked child's profile. Importantly you won't lose any of that all-important parent contact information on your children records, even if the parents are deleted in your Address Book.