Safety is Fundamental
At Boys & Girls Clubs of Bay County, we practice safe behaviors, take action to put safety first, and speak up to ensure both the physical and emotional safety of others. We recognize that for many of the children we serve, the world can be a perilous place and that our Clubs represent a safe haven. Thus, from the layout and features of our physical Club space to the careful screening and training of our staff and volunteers, safety is central to every facet of Club life.
We’re committed to providing:
A safe, positive environment (encompassing both physical and emotional safety)
Youth development experts trained in social-emotional learning and trauma informed care
Innovative, stringent safety policies that protect the physical and emotional well being of our young people
Ensuring the Safety of our Club Members
At Boys & Girls Clubs, we incorporate national safety standards and work with community partners to consistently strengthen our safety programming through new trainings.
Required Immediate Reporting
Boys & Girls Clubs of Bay County 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.
Each site completes an annual mandatory safety assessment using a defined online tool.
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 and more. In cases where a child has experienced trauma in their personal life, our Club staff works to arrange professional counseling services to aid the child’s recovery.
Mandatory Level-2 criminal background checks, which include fingerprinting, are required for every employee, volunteer, and board member who has direct contact with children. Background checks are conducted before any adult is allowed contact with our Club members and are repeated every year.
Our Safety Policies & Procedures outline clear steps to prevent safety issues and concerns.
All Visitors must sign in and out of the facility
No parent or visitor is allowed to walk through facility without escort
Anyone picking up a child from our Clubs must be on the approved list
Access to 24-Hour Child Safety Hotline
All staff, members, and families are encouraged to report any incident or situation they may feel is unsafe. Through our national partnership with Praesidium, one of the nation’s leading safety experts, anyone can access this resource by calling 1-866-607-SAFE (7233) or emailing SafeClub@Praesidiuminc.com.
Board Safety Committee
BGC maintains a standing committee which reviews, updates, and oversees the implementation of our safety policies and procedures. Comprised of board members and safety specialists, Priorities and initiatives include:
- Ensuring building safety policies and procedures are adhered to and all staff are trained
- Safety Visits
- Ratios of staff to members are enforced
- Strict adherence to best practices related to the prevention of COVID-19
BGC employs a zero-tolerance policy for any disregard of our procedures. If any issues or concerns are brought to our attention, we contact the police and the Florida Department of Children and Families immediately. If you have any safety-related concerns or questions, please contact your local Club or our CEO, Hank Hill at firstname.lastname@example.org.