Ensuring child safety is fundamental to the mission of Boys & Girls Clubs of San Francisco and our number one priority.
The Safety and Well-being of Young People is Our Number One Priority
For 128 years, Boys & Girls Clubs of San Francisco has served youth and families in San Francisco, and the safety and protection of the children we serve is always our number one priority.
Our organization is committed to the highest standards of safety and integrity and maintains a zero tolerance policy for behavior that harms a child. Our Clubhouses are designed and programmed to be physically and emotionally safe places for our children and teens under the guidance of caring, trained, and trustworthy staff.
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With the support of Boys & Girls Clubs of America's national Child & Club Safety Department, we implement a comprehensive safety approach that reinforces our own best practices including:
mandatory background checks
All BGCSF employees and volunteers undergo a thorough criminal background check before joining the organization. Staff and volunteers are immediately placed into a subsequent arrest program with the DOJ/FBI, and BGCSF is updated automatically of any arrests.
required immediate reporting
Boys & Girls Clubs staff are all Mandated Reporters and are therefore required to report any suspected child abuse to Child Protective Services. Our Licensed Clinical Social Worker provides Mandated Reporting training to all new hires. BGCSF staff are required to report any critical incident/safety concern to local authorities immediately. They are also required to report any critical incident to Boys & Girls Clubs of America within 24 hours.
Our Clubs maintain a comprehensive safety plan that includes emergency procedures and reporting requirements for any incident that could pose harm to a youth or staff. The plan is updated annually, and all Club staff are trained during their onboarding process and twice per year afterwards.
BGCSF has safety policies that prioritize the safety of youth we serve above all else. These policies include, but are not limited to, supervision, transportation to and from Clubs, appropriate communications and prohibition of private one-on-one contact (excluding confidential behavioral health services appointments with our certified professionals).
Ongoing training and supervision of staff is critical. BGCSF staff participate in a wide variety of child safety training conducted through an annual organization-wide Safety Awareness Day, a second managers-specific Safety Awareness Day, and a culture that encourages the sharing of best practices. Expectations about the responsibility that every BGCSF staff person has for the safety of children start at the first-day orientation with a conversation with the President, Chief Operating Officer, or Vice President of Club Services leading the discussion. Through our national organization, we 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.
mandatory annual safety assessments
Each BGCSF location completes a safety self-assessment each year. We also conduct 2-3 facility audits of Clubhouses to access the conditions of the Club with an eye on any areas of concern for youth and staff safety. (Club vans are accessed during these audits). The Vice President of Club Services, Director of Facilities, and Clubhouse Director are present for all audits.
safety committee of the board
In the past year, BGCSF has formed a dedicated safety committee of the Board that provides advice and oversight to BGCSF's safety policies.
mandatory employee reference
BGCSF adheres to BGCA’s requirement that 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
BGCSF complies with federal, state, and local safety laws, including those impacting facilities and vehicles.
24-hour toll free child safety hotline
We encourage all Club staff, members, or families to report any incident or situation in which they feel unsafe. Through a partnership with Praesidium, one of the nation's leading safety experts, Boys & Girls Clubs of America provide a confidential 24-hour toll-free Child Safety Hotline, 866-607-SAFE (7233) or email SafeClub@Praesidiuminc.com
San Francisco'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.
Boys & Girls Clubs of America also advocated for the passage of the U.S. PROTECT Act
, which improved background screening systems and access. We have 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.
To learn more about our national safety policies and actions, please visit Boys & Girls Clubs of America's Child Safety page here