Linking children to their parents/carers
In this article
There's no constraint on the number of Parents/Carers that can be assigned to a child. For each parent/carer added you can specify the Relationship to the child and whether they are a Primary parent/carer, or not.
For each child in the Children module, you can designate one or more primary parents/carers who can be either In the Address Book or Not in the Address Book. Typically, this will be adults with parental responsibility, but other parent/carer relationships are supported to cater for more complex family scenarios. Primary parents/carers:
- will receive parent communications sent using the Send to primary parents/carers option
- with My ChurchSuite access can manage their child's details in their My Children section
- with My ChurchSuite access can manage their child's parent/carer details in their My Children section
- with My ChurchSuite access will see the child check-in QR code and parent pickup badges in their My Children section when an active check-in session is running
- can use their name, landline or mobile number details to locate their children in the Child Check-In system's 'child search'
In the example below, Matthew (In the Address Book) and Carly (Not in the Address Book) are designated as David's primary parents/carers with a "Parent" relationship, while Katie (Matthew's spouse/partner), is a non-primary parent/carer with a "Step-parent" relationship. Gendered relationships are shown where the parent/carer sex is known, otherwise, non-gendered relationships are used.
Matthew and Carly will receive Children module communications sent as Send to primary parents/carers. Katie will be included as a recipient if Send to all parents/carers is selected, and David will be included as a recipient if Send to child is selected. Only parents/carers/children with an email address or mobile number will receive email/SMS communications.
When viewing lists or reports of children in the Children module, and where parent/carer details are also shown, the child's first primary parent/carer is shown. In the example below, Becca has no primary parent/carer designated, although she may actually have non-primary parents/carers (shown when viewing the child's profile).
You can drag and change the ordering of parents/carers, optionally promoting or demoting the first primary parent/carer shown when viewing lists and reports.
Subject to your Children module My ChurchSuite options, primary parents/carers with My ChurchSuite access can view and manage their child's parents/carers in the My Children section of My ChurchSuite - they can add, edit and remove parents/carers (but they cannot remove themselves as a primary parent/carer).
When viewing a child's profile, you may see an information message alerting you to the child not having a primary parent/carer. You can also use the Children module's Missing Data report to filter a list of all children with a missing primary parent/carer.
Finally, the Children module's Potential Parent/Carer Match report can be used to identify children not linked to an Address Book parent/carer contact who might have a contact match.
Adding and managing parents/carers
How parents/carers are added depends on where in ChurchSuite you're working. Let's explore two methods:
When adding a new child...
On the Add child pop-up, you can search and select an existing parent/carer or add a new parent/carer. Note, this Parent/Carer section is only available when first adding children - read on for how to add/manage parents/carers for existing children.
For existing children...
Working from a child's profile, click Add parent/carer.
On the Add parent/carer pop-up, select whether the parent/carer is In the Address Book or Not in the Address Book.
If the parent/carer is In the Address Book, use the Contact search to find and select the parent/carer contact. The Add spouse option is surfaced if the selected contact has a linked spouse/partner. Tick if the parent/carer being added is a Primary parent/carer (see the previous section for further explanation), and finally, select the appropriate parent/carer Relationship to the child. Click Save to complete the process.
If the parent/carer is Not in the Address Book, use the Parent/carer search to find and select a parent/carer that isn't in the Address Book but who may be an existing parent/carer for another child in the same family. If no matching results are found, click +Add to add a new parent/carer.
The Add parent/carer pop-up switches to a form through which you can now add the parent/carer details. Once completed, click Save & Return.
The newly-added Parent/carer is shown selected. Tick if the parent/carer being added is a Primary parent/carer (see the previous section for further explanation), and finally, select the appropriate parent/carer Relationship to the child. Click Save to complete the process.
Added parents/carers are shown in the Parents/carers widget on the child's profile. You can return to a child's profile at any time to add, edit or remove a child's parents/carers. Removing an "In the Address Book" parent/carer simply unlinks the contact from the child, but the contact will persist in the Address Book. Removing a "Not in the Address Book" parent/carer will only delete that parent/carer record if they are not a parent/carer for any other children. Note also the option to Add as contact - an option shown only for parents/carers 'Not in the Address Book', enabling you to easily add the parent/carer as a new contact to the Address Book while preserving the relational link to the child.
As seen in the example above, child profiles also include a People widget showing any other non-parent/carer people connected to the child or other people at the child's address. From a parent/carer profile in the Address Book, the People widget lists linked children, a linked spouse/partner and other people at the contact's address.
Top Tip! Resolving mismatched addresses
When viewing a child's profile - and for children with linked parents/carers only - users are alerted to a mismatched child address - where the child's address differs from that of any parent/carer, and with the option to Resolve.
Click Resolve to choose which linked parent/carer address should be used - typically the address where the child ordinarily resides. Click Save to process the change.
What happens if you archive or delete a linked parent/carer?
When you archive an Address Book contact who is a linked parent/carer of one or more children, the parent/carer linking to children persists, but the archived parent/carer contact name is shown in strikethrough styling on each child's profile.
When you delete an Address Book contact who is a linked parent/carer of one or more children, ChurchSuite will retain the parent/carer contact details - name, email, mobile, telephone, communication options, and relationship - against each child as a "Not in the Address Book" parent/carer.
Importantly, you won't lose any of that all-important parent/carer contact information for a child, even if the parents are archived or deleted from the Address Book.