At Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Orange Coast, the Safety and Wellbeing of Young People is Our Number One Priority
Ensuring child safety is fundamental to the mission of Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Orange Coast.
That’s why every day at every level and location, we work to create a safe, inclusive, and fun environment so kids can have every opportunity to be successful in life. We have no tolerance for inappropriate behavior of any kind, including child sexual abuse or misconduct, and we put resources behind that stance.
Culture of Safety: Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Orange Coast 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 continually enhance and implement layers of safety policies and guidelines to keep our kids safe including:
- Regular safety audits and review of policies and procedures
- Mandated Reporter Training and regular sexual harassment prevention training for all staff
- Protocols and space design that ensure line of sight to all mentors and members
- Emergency Disaster Drills and training for fire, earthquake, active shooter, etc.
- CPR/First Aid certification for all direct service staff
- Situational and environmental awareness training
Safety Policies: Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Orange Coast has comprehensive safety policies in place that protect youth – including, but not limited to, supervision, transportation, communication, and prohibiting private one-on-one contact.
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 Clubs of Central Orange Coast members and staff have access to a confidential 24-hour toll-free Child Safety Hotline, 866-607-SAFE (7233) or email [email protected].
Mandatory Background Checks: Mandatory criminal background checks are required upon hire and annually for every staff and board member at Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Orange Coast. 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.
Required Immediate Reporting: Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Orange Coast staff and volunteers are all mandated reporters, which means 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 at our Clubs and partner sites.
Safety Trainings: Ongoing training and supervision of staff is critical. We participate in a wide variety of child safety training conducted such as webinars, seminars, hands-on drills, etc. 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: Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Orange Coast has a dedicated safety committee to provide input and guidance on local policies and safety strategies. Priorities and initiatives include:
- Emergency/Disaster Preparedness
- Transportation Program Safety
- Mental Health and Inclusion
- Cyber Safety and Digital Citizenship
- Facility Management
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
Locally, Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Orange Coast partners with:
- American Red Cross
- Center for Autism
- Regional Center of Orange County
- CHOC Clinic
- CalWorks Safety
- TWINTEL Solutions
Continued Commitment: In July 2020, all local Boys & Girls Clubs voted to adopt additional safety measures to further improve safety within our Clubs. Many of these practices were already in place, however, Boys & Girls Clubs determined these practices should be mandatory for all Clubs. These measures include more stringent reference and background checks, enhanced Club Safety Committee requirements for all Clubs, greater communication of key safety resources and information available for staff and members, and more.
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.
Children deserve nothing less than our constant focus on their safety and our firm commitment to protect every child who is entrusted to our care at Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Orange Coast. To learn more about our national safety policies and actions, please visit Boys & Girls Clubs of America’s Child Safety page, here.
Safety policies available upon request, please contact [email protected]