COMMITMENT TO SAFETY

AT BOYS & GIRLS CLUB, CHILD SAFETY IS JOB NO. 1

Ensuring child safety is fundamental to the mission of our Club. We work every day to create a safe, fun environment so kids can have every opportunity to be successful in life. We have ZERO tolerance for inappropriate behavior of any kind, including child sexual abuse or misconduct, and we put resources behind that stance.

CULTURE OF SAFETY

BGCSA continually updates robust safety policies, programs and training for our staff and volunteers that are designed to promote child safety and protect young people from threats that are present in our society. We implement layers of safety policies and guidelines to keep our kids safe including:

  • Annual Background Checks
  • Staff to child ratio
  • Safety Trainings
  • and more

SAFETY POLICIES

BGCSA has comprehensive safety policies in place that protect youth – including, but not limited to, supervision, transportation, communication and prohibiting private one-on-one contact.

24-hour Toll-free Child Safety Hotline: 

We encourage all staff, members and families to report any incident or situation they feel is unsafe. Through our national partnership with Praesidium, one of the nation’s leading safety experts, BGCSA members and staff have access to  a confidential 24-hour toll-free Child Safety Hotline, 866-607-SAFE (7233) or email SafeClub@Praesidiuminc.com.

MANDATORY BACKGROUND CHECKS

Mandatory criminal background checks are required every year for every staff member at BGCSA. In addition, criminal background checks are required for any volunteer who has direct contact with children. All potential employees and volunteers are also run through several databases including the National Sex Offender Registry.

Required Immediate Reporting: BGCSA staff and volunteers are all mandated reporters. We are required to report any critical incident/safety concern to local authorities immediately. We are also required to report any critical incident to Boys & Girls Clubs of America within 24 hours.

SAFETY TRAINING

Ongoing training and supervision of staff is critical. We participate in a wide variety of child safety training conducted such as conferences, webinars and a semi-annual safety symposiums. We also engage leading third-party safety experts to provide guidance for our policies and approaches, including Praesidium, the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, and the National Children’s Advocacy Center.

Safety Committee: BGCSA has a dedicated safety committee to provide input and guidance on local policies and safety strategies.

State and Local Laws: We comply with federal, state and local safety laws, including those impacting facilities and vehicles.

SAFETY PARTNERSHIPS

Nationally, Boys & Girls Clubs of America works with leading experts in the areas of safety, security and technology to develop state-of-the-art solutions for Clubs. Partners include:

  • National Child Safety Advisory Task Force, made up of leading experts and organizations
  • Blue Ribbon Taskforce, comprised of local Club leaders charged with providing input on the safety direction and key safety initiatives
  • Mental Health First Aid, a national program that teaches skills to recognize and respond to signs of mental illness and substance abuse
  • Crisis Text Line, a confidential text message service for youth in times of crisis

Locally, BGCSA partners with:

  • Our Local Police Departments
  • School Districts