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CLUB SAFETY

Club Safety

CLUB SAFETY IS JOB NO.1

Ensuring child safety is fundamental to the mission of Boys & Girls Club of Hawthorne and Boys & Girls Clubs of America.

The Safety and Wellbeing 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 Club of Hawthorne 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:

  • Child Safety Training
  • Fingerprinting
  • Background Checks
  • CARI Checks
  • Security Cameras throughout Facility

SAFETY POLICIES

Our 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, on of the nation's leading safety experts, the Boys & Girls Club of Hawthorne's 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 Boys & Girls Club of Hawthorne.  In addition, criminal background checks are required for any volunteer who had direct contact with children.  All potential employees and volunteers are also run through the same background checks. Our Club has partnered with one of the largest background screening companies, First Advantage, to provide affordable, fast access to the most comprehensive screenings available today.  Below are the components included:

  • Felony (Including Misdemeanor)
  • First Advantage National Criminal File
  • National Sex Offender Registry
  • Social Verification

REQUIRED IMMEDIATE REPORTING

The Boys & Girls Club of Hawthorne's 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 Club.

SAFETY TRAININGS

Ongoing training and supervision of staff is critical.  We participate in a wide variety of child safety training conducted such as:

  • Child Abuse/Neglect Mandated Reporting
  • Yearly Orientation Training
  • Proper Physical Contact Guidelines
  • Active Shooter Training
  • Positive Discipline Training
  • Foundations of Child Development
  • First Aid & CPR 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.

SAFETY COMMITTEE

The Boys & Girls Club of Hawthorne has a dedicated safety committee to provide input and guidance on local policies and safety strategies.  Priorities and initiates include:

  • Ensuring our Club is in compliance with all applicable federal, state laws.
  • Overall safety of our buildings and grounds.
  • Overall safety of all the youth we serve.

COMMITTEE MEMBERS:

  • Board Member, Lieutenant Robert King- Hawthorne Police Department
  • Board Member, Scott Chamberlin
  • Board Member, Michael Forshay

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.

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, the Boys & Girls Club of Hawthorne partners with:

  • State of New Jersey Department of Children and Families: Office of Licensing
  • State of New Jersey Department of Human Services: Division of Family Development
  • Hawthorne Police Department
  • Hawthorne Fire Department
  • Hawthorne Board of Education
  • Borough of Hawthorne

National, 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 contact focus on their safety and our firm commitment to protect every child who is entrusted to care at Boys & Girls Club of Hawthorne.  To learn more about our national safety policies and actions, please visit Boys & Girls Club of America's Child Safety page, here.

FOR MORE INFORMATION OR QUESTIONS:

Please feel free to contact John Bertollo, CEO, at 973-427-7777 or jbertollo@bgchawthorne.org.

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