We work every day to create a safe, fun environment where kids can pursue academic success, good character and citizenship, and a healthy lifestyle – all under the guidance of caring, trained, trustworthy adult leaders.
We have ZERO tolerance for inappropriate behavior of any kind, and we put resources behind that stance. Over the years, we have taken many actions to help combat child abuse of any kind, including advocating for the passage of the U.S. PROTECT ACT, which improved background screening systems and access. We have also partnered with the FBI, the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children and the Centers for Disease Control to contribute to the development of safety practices that benefit ALL youth-serving organizations.
America’s young people deserve nothing less than our constant focus on their safety and our firm commitment to protect every child who is entrusted to our care.
Our Six-Step Safety Plan
Boys & Girls Clubs of America (BGCA) is committed to helping our Clubs provide a safe and secure experience for youth. Through our Child & Club Safety Department, we implement a six-step plan that follows the best practices available today, using the latest advances in technology and expertise:
- Criminal background checks are required for every staff member and board member at local Boys & Girls Club affiliates. In addition, criminal background checks are required for any volunteer who has direct contact with children. Additionally, all potential employees and volunteers are run through the National Sex Offender Registry. BGCA partners with one of the largest background screening companies to provide the most comprehensive screenings available today.
- Through our partnership with Praesidium, one of the nation’s leading safety experts, BGCA provides a confidential 24-hour toll-free Child Safety Hotline, 866-607-SAFE (7233) or email SafeClub@Praesidiuminc.com.
- Ongoing training and supervision of staff is critical. Clubs participate in a wide variety of child safety training conducted through seminars, conferences and webinars.
- Safety policies and procedures must adhere to the highest standards. Clubs are required to report any suspected child abuse to local authorities.
- We have a Safety Officer, Prevention Specialist who manages and executes our safety plan.
- All facilities and vehicles are required to comply with federal, state and local safety laws. BGCA works with leading experts in the area of security technology to develop state-of-the-art solutions for our 4,300 sites.
- We work hard to create a Culture of Safety, which includes the following initiatives:
- National Child Safety Advisory Task Force, made up of leading experts
- A dedicated Child Safety Committee on our Board of Directors to guide our national safety efforts
- National Safety Award Program to recognize leadership and innovation
- National Child Safety and Protection Symposium, a forum to enable all youth organizations to share their best ideas and solutions for protecting kids.
We constantly look for ways to improve our practices and training for our local Clubs and staff, and will introduce additional resources as they become available.