Ensuring the safety of children is fundamental to the mission of Boys & Girls Clubs. For more than 100 years, child protection and safety have been the bedrock principles of our work. The many actions we have taken over the years include advocating for the passage of the U.S. PROTECT Act, which improved background screening systems and access. We've also partnered with the FBI, the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children and the CDC to contribute to the development of safety practices that benefit ALL youth-serving organizations.
In today's world, young people are faced with enormous challenges – from poverty to the high school dropout crisis to an obesity epidemic – that threaten their chance to have great futures. And, unfortunately, headlines remind us every day that we live in a dangerous world that puts too many young people – America's most precious resource – at serious risk.
Given these realities, we must be ever-vigilant in ensuring that our Clubs are safe havens for America's youth, staffed by caring adult mentors who have the best interests of kids at heart. While child safety has been priority #1 for Clubs throughout our history, our work in this area is never done.
Boys & Girls Clubs of America (BGCA) is committed to helping our Clubs provide a safe and secure experience for youth. Through our Child & Club Safety Department, we implement a six-step plan that follows the best practices available today, using the latest advances in technology and expertise:
These are just some of the steps we take to ensure the safety of children. We constantly look for ways to improve our practices and training for our local Clubs and staff, and will continuously introduce additional resources as they become available.
Our message to communities and parents is clear: We work every day to create a safe, fun environment where kids can pursue academic success, good character and citizenship, and a healthy lifestyle – all under the guidance of caring, trained, trustworthy adult leaders.
And our message to anyone who would potentially compromise our Clubs and our mission is equally clear: We have ZERO tolerance for inappropriate behavior of any kind, and we put resources behind that stance.
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.
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