At Boys & Girls Club of Greenwich, Child Safety is Job No. 1
Ensuring child safety is fundamental to the mission of Boys & Girls Club of Greenwich
The Safety and Wellbeing of Young People is Our #1 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: Boys & Girls Club of Greenwich 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 implement layers of safety policies and guidelines to keep our kids safe including:
- Background checks on all employees, volunteers and board members.
- Full-time Director of Safety who had a 31-year career with the Greenwich Police Department (GPD).
- Training by GPD with our staff on sexual molestation prevention and mandated reporting. Additional staff training is provided by the Department of Children and Families on how to recognize signs of child abuse, with supplemental online safety module training from Praesidium through Boys & Girls Clubs of America.
- Board representation with Greenwich Police Department Youth Division detective Christy Girard.
- Numerous security cameras are placed strategically throughout the premises.
- Walkie Talkie radios with all program staff tied directly to the Greenwich Police Department.
- A Master’s level social worker has been hired to assist staff, youth and their families with issues that arise that impact the health and well-being of our members.
- Content Filters for all WIFI in the building as well as policies and procedures in place to protect private data.
- The use of authorized pick up lists on all member applications.
- Visitor sign in/sign out as well as limited access to the building.
- Regular fire drills, lockdown drills.
- Our bus drivers are credentialed (endorsement A from DMV) and their driving records are supervised and monitored on a regular basis.
Safety Policies: Boys & Girls Club of Greenwich 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 Club of Greenwich members and staff have access to a confidential 24-hour toll-free Child Safety Hotline, 866-607-SAFE (7233) or email SafeClub@Praesidiuminc.com.
Also, through a partnership with Kids in Crisis, members have access to a 24-hour hotline. Call 203-869-3224, press 5 and callers will be directly connected to Kids in Crisis for immediate crisis help on their hotline.
Mandatory Background Checks: Mandatory criminal background checks are required every year for every staff and board member at Boys & Girls Club of Greenwich. 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 Club of Greenwich 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 at our Club.
Safety Trainings: Ongoing training and supervision of staff is critical. We participate in a wide variety of child safety training 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: Boys & Girls Club of Greenwich has 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.
Safe Place: BGCG is a designated “Safe Place.” A Safe Place is a national youth outreach and prevention program for young people under the age of 18 in need of immediate help and safety. As a collaborative community prevention initiative, Safe Place designates businesses and organizations as Safe Place locations, making help readily available to youth in communities across the country. Safe Place locations include: libraries, fire stations, public buses, various businesses, and social service facilities.
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 Club of Greenwich partners with:
- Greenwich Police Department
- Greenwich Fire Department
- Greenwich Emergency Medical Service
- Kids in Crisis
- Department of Children and Families
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 at Boys & Girls Club of Greenwich. To learn more about our national safety policies and actions, please visit Boys & Girls Clubs of America’s Child Safety page, here.