A Culture of Safety
Boys & Girls Clubs of Philadelphia is committed to creating a culture of safety for the 9,600 children who attend our Clubs each year. In order to provide Philadelphia’s youth with a safe, positive place to meet their full potential, we follow the safety plan outlined below:
Criminal Background Checks:
Are required for every staff member and board member at Boys & Girls Clubs of Philadelphia before starting work and on an annual basis. In addition, criminal background checks are required for any volunteer who has direct contact with children. Additionally, all potential employees and volunteers are run through the National Sex Offender Registry. BGCA partners with one of the largest background screening companies to provide the most comprehensive screenings available today.
All Clubs have access to a 24-hour hotline (866-607-SAFE) that can be used for confidential advice, guidance and resources through a partnership with nationally recognized risk prevention and safety expert Praesidium. Additionally, all BGCP staff are Mandated Reporters and are required to report any suspected incidents to Child Line 1-800-932-0313.
BGCP also reports incidents to BGCA’s critical incident management system within 24 hours.
Ongoing training and supervision of staff is critical. All Club staff participate in a variety of child safety training conducted through seminars, conferences, and webinars
Policies and Procedures:
We maintain policies to keep children safe in case of emergency, while transporting children, and during normal operating hours. Staff are trained on these policies regularly.
Board Led Safety Committee:
Our board-led safety committee meets regularly to ensure safety is addressed at the highest level of management.
Annual Safety Assessments:
This tool enables Clubs to perform self-assessments that provide immediate recommendations and links to BGCA safety resources to help each organization create a board-driven safety improvement plan. Site assessments are then approved by the CEO and submitted to BGCA. Clubs receive recommendations based on their responses. Resource triggers have also been built in should organizations respond negatively to selected questions.
State and Local Laws:
We comply with federal, state and local safety laws, including those impacting facilities and vehicles.
Commitment to Safety
Nationally, Boys & Girls Clubs of America has advocated for passage of the U.S. PROTECT Act to improve 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 support the development of safety practices that benefit ALL youth-serving organizations.