AT THE BOYS & GIRLS CLUB OF THE LOWER NAUGATUCK VALLEY, SAFETY IS JOB #1

Your Child's Safety at Our Boys & Girls Club

Reassurance in Response to Media Coverage

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August 16, 2019

 

To our Boys & Girls Club families,

 

You may have seen this week’s media coverage regarding abuse allegations at Boys & Girls Clubs across the country.

 

First and most importantly, I want to assure you that your children and their safety are our number one concern. We have ZERO tolerance for inappropriate behavior of any kind, and we put resources behind that stance. No child should ever be harmed and our hearts go out to these victims and their families. Young people deserve nothing less than a constant focus on their safety and a firm commitment from those entrusted to their care.

 

While child safety has been our first priority throughout our history, our work in this area is never done. Criminal background checks, including the National Sex Offender Registry, are required every year for every staff member, Board member, and volunteer who has direct contact with children. We encourage all staff, members, and families to report any incident or situation they feel is unsafe. All staff and volunteers are mandated reporters, required to report any critical incident/safety concern to appropriate authorities immediately. We are also required to report any critical incident to Boys & Girls Clubs of America within 24 hours. Ongoing training and supervision of staff are critical. Our staff participates in a wide variety of child safety training conducted through seminars, conferences, and webinars from leading safety experts. These are just some of the steps we take to ensure the safety of your children, and we are constantly looking for ways to improve our practices and training for our staff.

 

For more than 63 years our Boys & Girls Club has provided safety, mentorship, and outlets to learn and grow for thousands of youth. Research is clear that when kids feel safe, they have better outcomes in life. Which is exactly why we do the work we do. Many of our Club alumni say the Club saved their life. We are committed to keeping our Club the safest place in our community.

 

Please don’t hesitate to reach out to me if you have any concerns about this or any other issue. We are always here for you and your children.

 

Sincerely,

 

Shaye A. Roscoe

Executive Director

 

SAR:amw

Ensuring the safety of children is fundamental to the mission of our Boys & Girls Club. 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 Boys & Girls Club is a safe haven for our youth, staffed by caring adult mentors who have the best interests of our kids at heart. While child safety has been priority #1 for our Club throughout our history, our work in this area is never done. Following are just some of the steps we take to ensure our youth enjoy a safe and secure experience at our Club. 

 

  1. Criminal background checks are required for every staff member, Board member, and volunteer who has direct contact with children. We use Protect Youth Sports for our comprehensive screenings.
     

  2. Boys & Girls Clubs of America has partnered with Praesidium, one of the nation’s leading safety experts, to provide a 24-hour, toll-free Child Safety Hotline to allow Club managers, staff members, volunteers, and Club members to confidentially report suspicions or concerns. For Club-related child safety issues, contact the Child Safety Hotline at 866-607-SAFE (7233) or email SafeClub@PraesidiumInc.com. For child safety concerns that are not related to a Boys & Girls Club, contact the ChildHelp National Child Abuse Hotline at 800-4-A-Child (800-422-4453).
     

  3. Ongoing training and supervision of staff are critical. Our staff participates in a wide variety of child safety training conducted through seminars, conferences, and webinars.
     

  4. Safety policies and procedures must adhere to the highest standards. We are required to report any suspected child abuse to local authorities. No adult should ever be alone with a  child—all activities inside and outside the Club must have appropriate ratios of staff and members.
     

  5. All facilities and vehicles are required to comply with federal, state, and local safety laws.

 

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 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.

 

Our 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.

© 2019 Boys & Girls Club of the Lower Naugatuck Valley. All Rights Reserved | 1 Positive Place, Shelton, CT 06484 | T. 203-924-7462 | info@bgc-lnv.org

 

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