SAFETY

The Safety and Wellbeing of Young People is Our Number One Priority.

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: We are continually updating 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:Mandatory background checks.

  • Immediate reporting to authorities.
  • Annual safety assessments.
  • Mandatory background checks including extensive references and national criminal background checks.
  • All staff are CPR and First Aid trained.
  • Annual safety assessments by outside agencies.
  • Regular training in best practices in positive behavior management.
  • Immediate reporting to authorities of any reported incidences

Safety Policies: We have a comprehensive safety policies in place that protect youth – including, but not limited to, supervision, transportation, communication and prohibiting private one-on-one contact.

We encourage all staff, members, and families to report any incident or situation they feel is unsafe. Either through contacting our Executive Director: Adam Rodgers: 781-832-3301 arodgers@bgcstoneham.org or through our safety@bgcstoneham.org email address.

Mandatory Background Checks: Mandatory criminal background checks are required every year for every staff and board member. In addition, criminal background checks are required for any volunteer who has direct contact with children.

Required Immediate Reporting: 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.

Safety Trainings: Ongoing training and supervision of staff is critical. We participate in a wide variety of child safety training conducted such as 51A mandated reporter training, Sexual Abuse Prevention training, CPR & First Aid training, US Mental Health First Aid 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.

Safety Committee: We have a dedicated safety committee to provide input and guidance on local policies and safety strategies.

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

Inclement Weather Policy: When Stoneham &/or Wakefield Public Schools are closed the Club will be closed and all morning, afternoon & evening programs will be cancelled.

Guidance and Discipline Policy: The goal of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Stoneham & Wakefield is to provide a safe environment for all members. It is the hope of the Staff that every member treats the Clubs and all who use it with respect and demonstrates   proper behavior. It becomes necessary to, however, to deal with inappropriate behavior quickly, professionally and in a compassionate manner. The underlying goal of this policy is to reinforce the idea that all behaviors (appropriate and inappropriate) and their consequences are in the member’s control. Click here to download a copy of the full policy.