Our safety policies & procedures
Safety is Our #1 Priority. Ensuring child safety is fundamental to the mission of Boys & Girls Clubs of South Puget Sound. We work every day to create a safe environment for our kids.
We work every day to create a safe, fun, and positive Club environment so Club members 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 the organization invests resources purposefully to support this.
Mandatory Background Checks: Mandatory criminal background checks are required for every employee, volunteer, and board member who has direct contact with children. These are conducted in advance, as well as each year. These are conducted by a third-party vendor engaged for this purpose, and includes screenings through the child abuse and sex offender registry, as well as county, state, and national criminal records.
Training/Tools: Each year, staff receive training on the requirements of being a Mandated Reporter, how to prevent, recognize, and react responsibly to childhood sexual abuse, First Aid/CPR, Supervision of Children, Safety First, and more. These training elements are provided by leading third-party safety experts to ensure that Club staff are the most up-to-date in all areas of safety.
Facilities & Equipment: Boys & Girls Clubs of South Puget Sound focuses on safety when making resource allocations and decisions regarding facilities, equipment and other capital expenditures.
Policies: Our Safety Policies & Procedures outline clear steps to prevent safety issues and concerns. See below for more information on the steps we take to ensure Safety is our #1 Priority.
Boys & Girls Clubs of South Puget Sound has a demonstrated Culture of Safety, through the continual update of 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, the implementation of curriculum with Club members designed to prevent incidents from occurring and empower kids and teens to report any inappropriate behaviors observe, and, regular site visits to maintain compliance and vigilance toward this effort.
Safety Policies: Boys & Girls Clubs of South Puget Sound has comprehensive safety policies in place that protect youth - including, but not limited to, supervision, bathroom, transitions, transportation, communication, and prohibiting private one-on-one contact.
Defined Barrier Crimes: No individual with any felony conviction. Any conviction involving crimes against children, including pornography, child molestation, child abuse, abandonment, child neglect, enticing a child into a motor vehicle, structure or isolated area and/or endangering the welfare of a child results in a denial of employment or volunteer opportunities, as well as any misdemeanor conviction involving force or threat of force, crimes involving sexual assault rape, criminal sexual contact or lewdness, drugs or controlled substances or cruelty to animals. Additionally, further investigation is required if there are findings of an incomplete investigation of any barrier crime, expunction, restoration of right, or pardon of any barrier crime, a charge involving a child but resulting in a favorable disposition to the applicant, or any charge that would be inconsistent with the mission of the Club organization.
Code of Conduct: Boys & Girls Clubs of South Puget Sound strives to provide excellent youth development service, quality work, and maintains high standards of conduct that each employee and volunteer actively participate in the maintaining of vigilant adherence to. This includes, but is not limited to, no individual having secrets with members, fully cooperating with authorities if allegations of abuse are being investigated, and ensuring that no one will engage in any activity with a member or members behind closed doors.
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, everyone has access to this resource: 1-866-607-SAFE (7233) or via email at SafeClub@Praesidiuminc.com.
Boys & Girls Clubs of South Puget Sound staff and volunteers are mandated reporters, required to notify local authorities immediately with any critical incident or safety concern. Additionally, the organization complies with all federal, state, and local safety laws, including those impacting facilities and vehicles.
While Boys & Girls Clubs of South Puget Sound is an independent 501(c)3 organization, governed by a local Board of Directors, there are membership requirements from Boys & Girls Clubs of America for all Club organizations which must be met to maintain compliance standards. In addition to annual Mandatory Background Checks, these include:
Safety Committee: Boys & Girls Clubs of South Puget Sound has a Board-led Safety & Operations Committee to provide input and guidance on local policies and safety strategies. Current members include:
Bart Hayes, Chair, Advanced Training Division Manager, Washington State Criminal Justice Training Commission
Peter Braun, Owner, Orchard Foods Corp
Nicolette Slaughter, Community Engagement Manager, MultiCare
Grant Williams, Firefighter, Tacoma Fire Department
Alexa Zarelli, Teacher on Special Assignment - Data Coach, Tacoma Public Schools
Mandatory Annual Safety Assessments: Each Club location completes an internal review in a specific online tool, as well as a safety audit by members of the Safety & Operations Committee.
Required Immediate Reporting: During any incident involving employees or volunteers, we take steps to immediately open an investigation, contact local Police and Child Protective Services. Additionally, any critical incident must be reported to Boys & Girls Clubs of America within 24 hours.
Mandatory Employee Reference: Any employee interested in obtaining employment at another Boys & Girls Club, anywhere, is required to have a reference check completed from the previous Club, even if the Clubs are in the same community.
Child Safety is embedded in the core values of Boys & Girls Clubs all over the country. Nationally, Boys & Girls Clubs of America has advocated the passage of the U.S. PROTECT Act, which improved background screening systems and access, and has partnered with the FBI and the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children to contribute to the development of safety practices that benefit ALL youth-serving organizations. To learn about Boys & Girls Clubs of America safety policies and actions, please visit their Child Safety Page.
To explore more about what Boys & Girls Clubs of South Puget Sound does to ensure our Clubs provide a safe, fun, and positive environment for our kids and teens to engage in new opportunities and build a pathway to a great future, please contact Carrie Prudente Holden, President/CEO at (253) 502-4600.