At our Clubs, Safety is Job #1.
We work hard every day to create a safe, fun environment for our Club members and staff. Below, you will find a summary of some of our key safety policies and procedures.
If you have questions or would like more information regarding any of these topics, please feel free to reach out to our Director of Operations, Karen Kintigh at firstname.lastname@example.org.
COVID-19 Protocols – When we reopened in June, we worked with the La Porte County Health Department to create a comprehensive safety plan that would minimize the chances of transmission of COVID-19 in our facilities. Measures we are currently taking include the following:
-Club members, staff and volunteers receive temperature checks upon arrival to our facilities. Anyone with a temperature of 100 degrees Fahrenheight or higher, or who exhibits COVID-19 symptoms, will be asked to leave.
-Our “Exclusion from/Return to Club” protocols help us mitigate risks by outlining when Club members, staff and volunteers can safely return to our Clubs following illness or COVID-19 exposure.
-We have dramatically modified our classrooms, programs and activities to encourage social distancing during Club hours.
-We have reduced group sizes and Club member/staff member ratios. Club members remain with the same groups each day.
-Face coverings are worn at all times except during snacks/meals. Free paper and cloth masks are available to Club members and staff.
-Club members and staff wash hands regularly throughout the day and have access to hand sanitizer.
-Club staff complete regular cleaning/sanitization of “high touch” areas such as desks, light switches, door knobs and lockers, in addition to our regularly scheduled professional cleanings.
Safety Policies – We continually update our already robust safety policies for Club members, staff and volunteers. These policies are designed to protect young people from threats that are present in our society and address critical issues like supervision, appropriate communication, technology usage and prohibiting one-on-one contact between Club members and staff.
Culture of Safety – Our staff members receive ongoing training regarding a wide variety of topics related to safety and youth development. We bring in local trainers from places like the American Red Cross, Michigan City Area Schools and Working Well, and also take advantage of a vast library of continuing education resources from Boys & Girls Clubs of America (BGCA).
Immediate Reporting/Cooperation with Investigations – The health and safety of our Club members is our top priority. BGCLPC staff members are legally required to report suspected abuse or neglect to the Indiana Department of Child Services (DCS). At times, we may also be asked to provide information in conjunction with an investigation by DCS, law enforcement or another government agency involved with the welfare of children.
It is our policy to cooperate fully with these investigations. We will respond to inquiries made to the best of our ability and provide requested materials, including but not limited to Club member/family registration details, attendance records and other information regarding program participation.
We are also required to report any critical incident involving our Clubs to BGCA within 24 hours.
24 hour Toll-Free Child Safely Hotline – In addition to local and state resources, BGCLPC families and staff have access to a confidential 24-hour, toll-free child safety hotline through Presidium, one of the nation’s leading safety experts. The toll-free number is 1-866-607-SAFE (7233).
Mandatory Background Screening – We conduct annual criminal background checks of all employees, board members and standing committee members, as well as volunteers and third-party professionals who have direct, repetitive contact with children. Individuals who have been convicted of certain crimes identified by BGCA are barred from working or volunteering at our Clubs.
Member Tracking – All BGCLPC members are scanned in and out each day for tracking purposes. Members may not leave the Club unescorted unless they are at least 13 years of age and have been parent/guardian consent.
Annual Safety Assessments – We conduct a mandatory safety assessment each year to ensure we are continually making improvements to safety at our Clubs.
Safety Committee – BGCLPC has a board-led safety committee to provide input and guidance on safety policies and strategies. This committee meets a minimum of three times per year. State and Local Laws: We comply with applicable federal, state and local safety laws, including those impacting facilities and vehicles
National Guidance – BGCA believes 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. To learn more about our national safety policies and actions, please visit Boys & Girls Clubs of America’s Child Safety page, here.