Bringing Adults Together to Protect Children
In September 2014, more than 80 experts from federal agencies, associations, corporations and nonprofit groups gathered for the Youth Safety Great Think. Participants discussed critical youth safety topics and identified areas of focus and action to protect and safeguard our youth. It marked the start of an important national dialogue about how to keep youth safe in out-of-school time settings.
The following progress has been made following the Great Think – Youth Safety:
BGCA has strengthened safety standards and measures, including: additional membership requirements that address emergency operations plans, prevention policies, a requirement to have board-led safety committees and more, while enhancing tools to measure safety, such as a required annual safety assessment, a facility safety checklist and enhanced member survey.
To strengthen the capacity of Club leaders, staff and volunteers to manage risks and protect youth, BGCA developed a biannual Safety Symposium for Boys & Girls Clubs, as well as added a variety of safety trainings to regional conferences and Spillett Leadership University, BGCA’s internal online learning platform. Training topics include incident response best practices, building a culture of safety, emotional wellness, sexual abuse prevention and more.
To engage youth, families and communities in discussions around safety, BGCA conducts focus groups to receive feedback about youth and caregivers’ perceptions of Club safety and other Club climate issues. BGCA also provides a variety of resources and activities for families, Club staff and youth, including guidance and tools for Clubs to better communicate safety priorities and updates with families. To provide research on relevant safety topics affecting youth nationally, BGCA creates responsive resources on topics such as vaping, child sex trafficking, etc. to better inform Club staff of youth trends. Finally, youth are invited to participate in learning about personal safety and Club safety, including bullying prevention, societal attitudes and behaviors, disaster preparedness and other life skills through specific programming and throughout the Club day.
To learn more about our commitment to safety, visit the Child Safety page.
Download the White Paper
Download the Executive Summary
Download the Webinar Presentation