Local Club Safety
At Boys & Girls Clubs of San Antonio child safety and wellbeing 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:
BGCSA continually updates robust safety policies, programs and training for our staff and volunteers 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, criminal background checks of our Club staff, volunteers, and board members, annual safety assessments, staff training, and more.
BGCSA has comprehensive safety policies in place that protect youth – including, but not limited to, supervision, transportation, communication and prohibiting private one-on-one contact. For more information, see our parent handbook.
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, BGCSA members and staff have access to a confidential 24-hour toll-free Child Safety Hotline, 866-607-SAFE (7233) or email [email protected]
Mandatory Background Checks:
Mandatory criminal background checks are required every year for every staff and board member at BGCSA. In addition, criminal background checks are required for any volunteer who has direct contact with children. All potential employees and volunteers are processed through VERIFYI, a background check service powered by VolunteerNow.
Required Immediate Reporting:
BGCSA 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 America 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, such as seminars, conferences, webinars, and symposiums. 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.
BGCSA has a dedicated safety committee to provide input and guidance on local policies and safety strategies.
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.
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