At Boys & Girls Clubs of Western Treasure Valley, Child Safety is Job No. 1

Ensuring child safety is fundamental to the mission of Boys & Girls Clubs of Western Treasure Valley
YOUTH PROGRAMSI WANT TO HELP

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 Clubs of Western Treasure Valley 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:

 All staff and volunteers are background checked upon hire and annually

  • Safety checks are completed every 30 minutes
  • Ratio checks regarding the number of youth to staff are checked hourly
  • Youth are NEVER in a one on one situation with an adult

 Safety Policies: Boys & Girls Clubs of Western Treasure Valley have 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 Western Treasure Valley 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 Clubs of Western Treasure Valley. In addition, criminal background checks are required for any volunteer who has direct contact with children. All potential employees and volunteers are also run through the National Sex Offender Registry.

Required Immediate Reporting: Boys & Girls Clubs of Western Treasure Valley 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.

Safety Trainings: Ongoing training and supervision of staff is critical. We participate in a wide variety of child safety training conducted such as seminars, conferences, webinars, and on site 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: Boys & Girls Clubs of Western Treasure Valley has a dedicated safety committee to provide input and guidance on local policies and safety strategies. Priorities and initiatives include:

 Ensuring clubhouse are free of physical hazards

  • Identifying areas of concern
  • Provide monthly trainings regarding physical and emotional safety
  • Ensures all safety protocols are being followed at all times

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, Boys & Girls Clubs of Western Treasure Valley partners with: 

  • Ontario Police Department
  • Malheur County Sheriff’s Office
  • Department of Human Services (Oregon)
  • Payette Police Department
  • Department of Health and Welfare (Idaho)

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 Western Treasure Valley To learn more about our national safety policies and actions, please visit Boys & Girls Clubs of America’s Child Safety page, here.

The safety and protection of the children we serve is always our number one priority, and we take any allegation that impacts the well-being of young people very seriously. Boys & Girls Club of Western Treasure Valley is aware of the recent arrest of a former staff member who was briefly employed at the Payette site. In June, the Club learned of possible allegations involving this individual and acted immediately by terminating his employment. To our knowledge, these allegations do not involve Club members, however, no harm should come to any child and our hearts go out to any victims and their families. We are both shocked and saddened by these allegations and are cooperating fully with the authorities involved in the investigation of this very serious matter.

Our organization is committed to the highest standards of ethical behavior and integrity and does not tolerate inappropriate or illegal activity on the part of any Club staff, volunteer or youth member. All employees and volunteers must undergo a thorough criminal background check, and all supervisory policies are designed to ensure the maximum safety and protection of Club members and staff.

We will continue our full cooperation with the authorities, and withhold any further comment until the investigation is complete.