Ensuring child safety is fundamental to the mission of Boys & Girls Clubs of Buffalo
The Safety and Well being of Young People is Our Number One 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: Boys & Girls Clubs of Buffalo 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.
Safety Policies: Boys & Girls Clubs of Buffalo 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, Boys & Girls Clubs of Buffalo members and staff have access to a confidential 24-hour toll-free Child Safety Hotline, 866-607-SAFE (7233) or email [email protected]
We train our staff and volunteers to support any child or adult who comes forward with concerns about misconduct. We also educate them how to identify signs of abuse and to report it. Boys & Girls Clubs of Buffalo has a multi-layered approach to safety in place to ensure the well-being of the children in our Club. Our approach includes:
• Our program space includes clear lines of sight and controlled access.
• Rigorous on-boarding processes for both volunteers and staff, including annual background checks and training that includes recognizing child predators, mitigating risks and recognition of child abuse situations.
• All staff and volunteers undergo a criminal background investigation (National Criminal, Sex Offender Search, statewide search, Motor Vehicle search and social security trace). In addition, we execute fingerprint clearance, a pre-employment drug screen, and check four references.
• Former Boys & Girls Clubs employees or volunteers from any other Club must have a reference from their past Club.
• As mandatory reporters, all instances, or suspected instances, of child abuse or neglect require that BGCB staff contact our Registrar at Child Care Resource Network. Staff are trained to recognize signs of abuse or neglect and know how to report any concerns to the proper authorities.
Ongoing staff training throughout the year that covers topics such as:
• Active supervision o Structure with clear limits
• Positive behavior management o Sexual Abuse Prevention o CPR and First Aid o Mandated Reporting
• Resilience training
• Active Shooter Training
• Van safety training
• Work place harassment
• An active, safety committee that covers topics regarding physical and emotional safety
• Mandatory background checks and immediate incident reporting to authorities
• One-on-one contact with members is prohibited with strict rules of conduct surrounding bathroom use.
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 Buffalo. To learn more about our national safety policies and actions, please visit Boys & Girls Clubs of America’s Child Safety page, here.