Child Safety is Our Number One Priority
At Boys & Girls Clubs of the Twin Cities, there is nothing more important than the safety of our youth members. We work every day to create a safe, fun environment, so kids can have every opportunity to be successful in life.
We do not tolerate inappropriate behavior of any kind, including child abuse or misconduct. From strict adherence to policies and guidelines within Club facilities and staffing structure, to equipping young people with the critical thinking and social-emotional skills to make healthy, safe choices, ensuring Club members are safe is the first step to their success.
For the nearly 900 young people who enter the doors of a Twin Cities Boys & Girls Club each day, Clubs offer safe, inclusive spaces and experiences that empower members’ learning and growth. Our data shows our approach works:
- Club teens are more likely to abstain from health-risk behaviors like alcohol and smoking than their peers nationally.*
- Clubs provide safety, mentorship and a sense of community during the critical out-of-school hours. 54% of Club alumni said the Club “saved my life.”**
- Clubs help build a sense of civic responsibility and leadership. In fact, 83% of Club members believe they can make a difference in their communities and 89% stand up for what they think is right.*
“The National Children’s Advocacy Center was the first Child Advocacy Center in the world, and there is nothing more important to us than the safety of youth. In this capacity, I have proudly served on Boys & Girls Clubs of America’s National Child & Club Safety Task Force since 2012 and seen firsthand the organization’s investment in safety and commitment to strong youth protection policies, immediate reporting and long-term strategy, as well as their dedication each day to creating a safe and supportive home-away-from-home for kids.”
– Chris Newlin, MS LPC, Executive Director, National Children’s Advocacy Center
In partnership with Boys & Girls Clubs of America, we are continually updating and innovating robust safety policies, programs and training for local Club staff and volunteers that are designed to protect young people from threats that are present in our society. The Boys & Girls Clubs of the Twin Cities’ safety policies include:
- Mandatory criminal background checks.
- Local Boys & Girls Clubs are required to immediately report any incident regardless of severity to the appropriate authorities and then to Boys & Girls Clubs of America.
- Each Club has a Board led Safety Committee elevating safety to the highest level of governance.
- Clubs are required to complete a mandatory annual safety assessments.
- BGCA and local Clubs engage leading 3rd party safety experts on training, policies and resources.
- Any employee looking to move to another Club, MUST have a reference from the previous Club.
Boys & Girls Clubs of America advocated for the passage of the U.S. PROTECT ACT, which improved background screening systems and access, and is proud to partner with the following organizations to develop safety practices that benefit ALL youth-serving organizations.
*2018 National Youth Outcomes Report
**2015 Harris Interactive survey of Club alumni