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OUR COMMITMENT TO SAFETY

The safety and well-being of young people is our number one priority.

At Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Iowa, we work every day to create a safe, fun environment so students 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 Central Iowa continually updates our robust safety policies, programs, and training for our staff and volunteers. These protocols 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:

  • Every staff member is a mandated reporter and is trained in how to identify and report signs of child abuse or neglect.

  • Our Clubs have monthly safety topics and emergency procedure drills to ensure Club members know how to respond in unsafe situations.

  • Our Clubs offer programs such as SMART Moves, Too Good for Violence, SMART Girls, Sister to Sister, Brother to Brother, Mission to Mentor, and Passport to Manhood that give members a vocabulary around unsafe situations and connections to trusted adults who can help ensure their safety.

  • Staff members participate in training around a number of safety-related subjects such as Sexual Abuse Prevention, Darkness to Light Training, Active Shooter Training, Classroom Management, Youth Mental Health First Aid, and Active Supervision.

 

Safety Policies: Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Iowa 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, BGCCI 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 and board member at Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Iowa. In addition, criminal background checks are required for any volunteer who has direct contact with our Club members.

 

Required Immediate Reporting: Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Iowa 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.

 

Mandatory Annual Safety Assessments: We complete a safety assessment each year to ensure we continually make improvements to safety at our Clubs.

 

Safety Training: Ongoing training and supervision of staff are critical. We participate in a wide variety of child safety training. 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.

 

Board-Led Safety Committee: Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Iowa has a dedicated safety committee to provide input and guidance on local policies and safety strategies. Priorities and initiatives include:

  • Safety Planning

  • Incident Review

  • Safety Assessments

  • Annual Walkthroughs

  • Policy Creation and Review

  • Vendor Involvement

  • Safety Expertise

  • Ensure Training

  • Succession Planning

 

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.

 

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 & 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 protecting every child who is entrusted to our care at Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Iowa. To learn more about our national safety policies and actions, please visit Boys & Girls Clubs of America’s Child Safety page by clicking here.

The Boys & Girls Club of Central Iowa (BGCCI) is a qualified 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization

Administration Address:

1421 Walker St., Des Moines, IA 50316

Phone: (515) 242-7925

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