The safety and wellbeing of young people is our number one priority
Ensuring child safety is fundamental to the mission of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Sacramento. 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
BGCSAC 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:
● Modeling safe and respectful conduct
● Practicing emergency drills
● Maintaining emergency safety packs at each Club location
● Empowering kids to know that if they see something, say something
BGCSAC maintains comprehensive safety policies in place that protect youth, including, but not limited to, supervision, transportation, communication, and prohibition of private one-on-one contact.
24-hour Toll-free Child Safety Hotline
We encourage all staff, Club 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, our Club 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 upon hire and annually for every staff and board member at BGCSAC. 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 via Live Scan.
Required Immediate Reporting
BGCSAC staff and volunteers are all mandated reporters and 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 employ a multi-tiered safety assessment approach to ensure we continually make improvements to safety at our Clubs.
Ongoing training and supervision of our staff are critical, which is why we participate in a wide variety of child safety training throughout each year. 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.
BGCSAC has a dedicated, Board-led Safety Committee to provide input and guidance on local policies and safety strategies. Priorities and activities include:
● Participating in safety planning
● Reviewing incidents
● Conducting safety assessments
● Conducting annual Club walkthroughs
● Assisting with policy creation and review
● Selecting safety vendors
● Providing safety expertise
● Ensuring staff and volunteer training
● Participating in 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.
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, BGCSAC partners with:
● Local school districts
● Sacramento Police Department
● Sacramento Sheriff's Department
● Child Protective Services
In July 2020, Boys & Girls Club organizations voted to adopt additional safety measures to further improve safety within our CLubs. Though many of these practices were already commonplace across our Movement, this vote made them mandatory for all Clubs. These include more stringent reference and background checks, enhanced Safety Committee requirements, strong communication of key safety resources and information, and more. With an unprecedented majority, on July 26, 2021, local Boys & Girls Clubs voted in record number to adopt additional membership requirements that further enhance child safety, implementing recommendations from RAINN that began in 2020, and will continue over the next two years - a demonstration of our continued commitment to keeping kids safe.
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.
Our 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 BGCSAC. To learn more about our national safety policies and actions, visit Boys & Girls Clubs of America’s Child Safety page.
We're committed to:
● A culture of safety
● Safety policies
● Immediate reporting
● Annual safety assessments
● Ongoing safety training
● Background checks for staff, board, and volunteers