Special Needs Ministry

Special Needs Ministry


One in every five Americans have a disability. Of these families with a disabled person, 90 percent do not have a church home. The Special Needs Ministry of Rio Vista Community Church is striving to minister to these families. We currently offer an inclusive Sunday school experience for preschool children and a kids' worship service for elementary children at our 11:00 a.m. service. We have a Behavioral Specialist who oversees our volunteer team, striving to provide the best Sunday experience possible for all our children.

Our heart’s desire is to lead special needs children and their families into a growing relationship with Jesus Christ.

We require families to complete a questionnaire as a guide to provide the best care possible for your child. You may obtain one of these forms at the Children’s Ministry welcome desks or by contacting Sandy Ives, Director of Children and Families, at 954-522-2518 ext. 102.

For the safety, security, and well-being of our special needs families, the following policies and guidelines for children with special needs have been adopted by Rio Vista Community Church.


In order to provide the best care for special needs children, we would love to have a one-on-one meeting before your child visits our special needs ministry. Please call 954-522-2518 ext. 102 to set up an appointment. During the meeting, the Director of Children and families, a behavioral specialist and the parent(s) of the special needs child will determine if our special needs ministry is the best place for the child, based on the following guidelines:

  • The child is in the age category of preschool through grade five.
  • Medical needs are within the scope of the capability of our staff.
  • Behavior is such that it can be controlled in the environment we have to offer.
  • If diapering is required, parents will be notified and must agree to handle this for their child if they are attending our elementary worship service. Preschool students will be attended to by our staff and volunteer team.
  • In order for us to become familiar with your child we request that a parent or guardian remain with them on the first day of class.
  • Parents will agree to work on a rotating basis to assist with our special needs children. Anyone working in the Children’s Ministry must agree to complete a Criminal Background Check that will be kept confidential.
  • Parents must provide a cell phone number when their child is under our care.

We realize some parents want their child to attend an inclusive Sunday school experience. To ensure we are providing the best environment possible for all children, we ask that parents attend a mainstream preschool or elementary class with their child before deciding it is the right class for their child. In addition, our Special needs coordinators may ask parents to provide a “Perfect Pal” (a person who buddies up with a child who benefits from 1 on 1 assistance) to attend class with their child. If the “Perfect Pal” is unavailable, we ask that parents attend in the Perfect Pal’s absence with their child.


For more information contact Sandy Ives, Director of Women, Children and Family Ministries, sandy@riovistachurch.com or (954) 522 2518 extension 102


Jimaica Buonocore, Behavioral Specialist with Keen Connections, jimaica@keenconnections.org or (954) 372-8010

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