OUR SAFETY COMMITMENT
At Boys & Girls Clubs of Southwest Washington Child Safety is No.1
Ensuring child safety is fundamental to the mission of Boys & Girls Clubs of Southwest Washington.
The Safety and Wellbeing 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 put resources behind that stance.
Culture of Safety: Boys & Girls Clubs of Southwest Washington 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 children safe.
Safety Policies: Boys & Girls Clubs of Southwest Washington has comprehensive safety policies in place that protect youth including, but not limited to supervision, transportation, communication and appropriate staff and volunteer interactions with youth.
Mandatory Background Checks: Mandatory criminal background checks are required every year for every staff and board member at Boys & Girls Clubs of Southwest Washington. In addition, criminal background checks are also required for any adult volunteer who has direct contact with youth. All potential Boys & Girls Clubs of Southwest Washington employees and volunteers are run through the National Sex Offender Registry by First Advantage, a professional criminal pre-employment background screening service.
Required Immediate Reporting: Boys & Girls Clubs of Southwest Washington staff 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.
Mandatory Annual Assessments: We complete a safety assessment each year to ensure we continually make improvements at each of our Club sites.
Safety Training: Ongoing training and supervision of staff is critical. We participate in a wide variety of child safety training such as staff workshops, seminars, and webinars. We also engage leading third-party safety experts to provide guidance for our policies and approaches, including Praesidium, the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, and the National Childrens Advocacy Center.
Board-Led Committee: Boys & Girls Clubs of Southwest Washington has a dedicated Operations Committee which provides guidance and input on safety strategies and local policies.
State and Local Laws: We comply with federal, state and local safety laws, including those impacting facilities and vehicles.
Safety Partnerships: Nationally, Boys & Girls Club of America works with leading experts in the areas of safety, security and technology to develop state-of-the-art solutions for Clubs.
- 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 and 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, Boys & Girls Clubs of Southwest Washington collaborative community partners include:
- Washington State Department of Children, Youth and Families
- Vancouver Public Schools
- Evergreen Public Schools
- Clark County Sheriffs Department
- Vancouver Police Department
- Clark County Juvenile Court
- Clark County Safe Communities Task Force
- Clark College
- Washington State University Vancouver Education and Human Development Departments
- Clark County Teen Talk and Crisis Hotline
- The Children Center
- Real Life Counseling
- Bridgeview Resource Center
- Clark County YWCA
- Positive Coaching Alliance
- Childrens Home Society
- Planned Parenthood
- Vancouver Housing Authority
- Police Activities League
- Clark County Food Bank
Nationally 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 and Exploited Children and the Centers for Disease Control to contribute to the development of safety practices that benefit ALL youth serving organizations.
Young people in our community 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 Boys & Girls Clubs of Southwest Washington.