CLUB SAFETY At Boys & Girls Clubs of Southern Illinois Child Safety is Job No. 1 Ensuring child safety is fundamental to the mission of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Southern Illinois. The Safety and Wellbeing of Young People is Our Number One Priority We work every day to create a safe, fun environment so youth 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: BGCSI continually updates robust safety policies, programs and training for our employees, interns, 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: Yearly mandated report training Child Abuse Prevention guideline training Secure entrance and cameras Bathroom policies Safety Policies: BGCSI 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 employees, 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 Southern Illinois members and employees have access to a confidential 24-hour toll-free Child Safety Hotline, 866-607-SAFE (7233) or email SafeClub@Praesidiuminc.com. Mandatory Background Checks: Mandatory criminal background checks are required every year for every employee and board member at Boys & Girls Clubs of Southern Illinois. In addition, criminal background checks are required for any intern, volunteer, task force or committee members. All potential employees and volunteers are also run through the National, State and Local Sex Offender Registry; National Criminal Database; County Criminal Records search; and State Criminal Database. Required Immediate Reporting: BGCSI employees, interns, 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 all our Club sites. Safety Trainings: Ongoing training and supervision of staff is critical. We participate in a wide variety of child safety training conducted such as emergency response planning, CPR and First Aid; Basic Safety Training, Child Sexual Abuse Prevention, Mental Health First Aid, Transportation, Safe Technology Use and more. 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: The Boys & Girls Clubs of Southern Illinois has a dedicated safety committee to provide input and guidance on local policies and safety strategies. Priorities and initiatives include: Emotional Safety Monthly Safety walkthroughs Yearly safety assessments Assuring follow through and enforcement of policies and procedures Mandatory Employee Reference: Reference checks are completed for ALL employees before hiring. 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, BGCSI partners with: Centerstone Women’s Center Jackson County Health Department 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 Clubs of Southern Illinois. To learn more about our national safety policies and actions, please visit Boys & Girls Clubs of America’s Child Safety page, here. .