The safety and wellbeing of young people is our number one priority!
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: At Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Ohio, we work every day to create a safe, fun environment so kids can have every opportunity to be successful in life. All programs and training for our staff and volunteers are designed to promote child safety and protect young people from threats that are present in our society.
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 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: All BGCCO employees and board volunteers must undergo a comprehensive criminal background check upon hire and annually. All volunteers (including minors) who have direct, repetitive contact with children must also receive an annual background check. This requirement also applies to staff and volunteers from other organizations who may work in local Clubs as part of a partnership or collaboration.
Required Immediate Reporting: Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Ohio staff and volunteers are all mandated reporters. We are required to report any critical incident/safety concern, regardless of severity 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 Trainings: Ongoing training and supervision of staff is critical. We participate in a wide variety of child safety trainings conducted such as [seminars, conferences, 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 & Exploited Children, and the National Children’s Advocacy Center.
Safety Committee: The Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Ohio has a dedicated board-led safety committee to provide input and guidance on local policies and safety strategies.
Mandatory Employee Reference: Any current or former employee or volunteer 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, prior to employment or volunteering.
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.