Child Safety is Our #1 Priority
Ensuring child safety is fundamental to our mission!
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
The Town of Wallkill Boys & Girls Club 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:
- Daily health screenings for all children
- Monthly fire drills & bi-annual shelter in place drills
- Monthly extensive School Aged Child Care (SACC) safety checks
- Annual safety assessments
- All youth development staff meet the standards set forth by the NYS Office of Children and Family Services (OCFS)
- All youth development staff are fingerprinted and must be cleared by the NYS Statewide Central Register Clearance System.
- All staff receive annual national criminal background checks pursuant to Boys & Girls Clubs of America (BGCA) standards.
- All youth development staff are monitored and evaluated on a monthly basis to ensure the safety of our Club Members.
- All program sites have at least one staff member who is CPR and First Aid-certified o duty at all times.
- All staff are screened and trained to ensure the safest, highest quality programs for our members.
The Town of Wallkill Boys & Girls Club 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, the Town of Wallkill Boys & Girls Club members and staff 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 staff and board member at the Town of Wallkill Boys & Girls Club. 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 NYS Statewide Central Register (SCR) Clearance System, Staff Exclusion List (SEL), National Background Checks through Intellicorp including criminal records and National Sex Offender Registry.
Required Immediate Reporting
The Town of Wallkill Boys & Girls Club 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 American within 24 hours.
Mandatory Annual Safety Assessments
We complete a safety assessment each year to ensure we continually make improvements to safety at our Clubs.
Ongoing training and supervision of staff is critical. We participate in a wide variety of child safety training conducted such as 2-day staff orientation training, NYS OCFS Mandated Reporter Training, NYS OCFS Health & Safety Training and other OCFS approved training. 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.
The Town of Wallkill Boys & Girls Club has a dedicated safety committee to provide input and guidance on local policies and safety strategies. Priorities and initiatives include:
- Identifying programmatic/camp challenges/areas of concern
- Developing and modifying safety protocols
- Updating best practices for organizational policies and procedures
- Reviewing critical incidents for quality improvement
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.
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, The Town of Wallkill Boys & Girls Club partners with:
- Orange County and Sullivan County Youth Bureaus
- Orange County and Sullivan County Child Care Councils
- Liberty, Monticello and Pine Bush School Districts
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 The Town of Wallkill Boys & Girls Club. To learn more about our national safety policies and actions, please visit Boys & Girls Clubs of America's Child Safety page, here.