Club Safety

At the Boys & Girls Clubs of Dundee Township, Child Safety is Job No. 1

Ensuring our children’s safety is fundamental to our mission.

The Safety and Well-being of Young People is Our Number One Priority

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 invest our time and resources behind that stance.

Culture of Safety:

Boys & Girls Clubs of Dundee Township 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:

    • Coaches contract mandating compliance with our child safety policies
    • Photo ID badges for employees and volunteers that must be worn at all Club activities
    • Revised orientations and trainings for employees and volunteer coaches – updated to more clearly define the relationship between the employee/volunteer and the youth, including Club policy regarding contact with members outside of Club activities, the prohibition of one-on-one contact between members, volunteers, and staff
    • Stringent reporting policies regarding suspected violations of Club child safety policies

Safety Policies:

Boys & Girls Clubs of Dundee Township 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, Boys & Girls Clubs of Dundee Township members and staff have access to a confidential 24-hour toll-free Child Safety Hotline, 866-607-SAFE (7233) or email [email protected]

Mandatory Background Checks:

Mandatory criminal background checks are required every year for every staff and board member at Boys & Girls Clubs of Dundee Township 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 the National Sex Offender Registry.

Required Immediate Reporting:

Boys & Girls Clubs of Dundee Township staff and volunteers are all mandated reporters. We are required to report any critical incident/safety concerns to local authorities immediately. We are also required to report any critical incident to the Boys & Girls Clubs of America within 24 hours.

Mandatory Annual Safety Assessments:

We complete a safety assessment each year to ensure we continually make improvements to safety at our Club(s).

Safety Trainings:

Ongoing training and supervision of staff is critical. We participate in a wide variety of child safety training conducted such as seminars, conferences, webinars, and an annual safety symposium. 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. Our Club Site Leaders are required to complete the BGCA’s 13-course Sexual Abuse Prevention Training, which includes:

  • How offenders operate
  • How to recognize warning signs
  • How to intervene
  • Mandated reporting requirements
  • How to manage high – risk situations

Safety Committee:

Boys & Girls Clubs of Dundee Township has established a dedicated safety committee to provide input and guidance on local policies and safety strategies. Priorities and initiatives of the committee include establishing, managing and updating the following:

  • Safety Planning. Identify the goals, objectives, and outcomes for a Safety Improvement Plan. Oversee the fulfillment of improvement tactics, using measures to track progress.
  • Incident Review. Regularly review reported safety incidents to help determine if additional policies and/or procedures should be in place to prevent future incidents.
  • Safety Assessment. Closely review the results of the online safety assessment in comparison to previous years’ data to identify trends and determine the success of previously implemented changes.
  • Annual Walkthroughs. Visit Clubs to identify potential critical safety needs, and develop strategies to immediately eliminate or reduce identified hazards.
  • Policy Creation and Review. Develop safety policies and procedures as needed, including a regular review of policies to ensure they continue to meet organizational needs.
  • Vendor Involvement. Help select major safety-related vendors, including, but not limited to, background check providers, insurance carriers and training providers.
  • Safety Expertise. Use the committee’s diversity to enhance key safety plans and initiatives.
  • Ensure Training. Support Club management efforts to deliver appropriate, ongoing safety training to all staff and volunteers. Ensure all staff and volunteers receive adequate training prior to access to members.

Mandatory Employee Reference:

Any employee interested in moving to another Boys & Girls Club is required to have a reference from the previous Club, even if the Clubs are within the same community.

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, the Boys & Girls Clubs of Dundee Township partners with the Carpentersville Police Department, Carpentersville Fire Department, School District 300 and School District 220 to discuss Club Safety procedures, identify risks, and share best practices

 

Nationally, the Boys & Girls Clubs of America has advocated the passage of the U.S. PROTECT Act, which improved background screening systems and access. The national organization has 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 at the Boys & Girls Clubs of Dundee Township. To learn more about our national safety policies and actions, please visit the Boys & Girls Clubs of America’s Child Safety page, here.

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