Child Safety at the Y
The safety of young people at the Y is always our top priority. Children and teens who are mentally and physically safe are better able to learn, grow, and thrive.
Ensuring children are safe from abuse and able to learn, grow, and thrive is the highest priority of the Y. We are committed to creating programs that protect children from abuse, but we are also committed to providing our families and community with information to keep kids safe. It is the power of our community knowing, seeing, and responding which make it more difficult for offenders to abuse.
The following is an overview of practices the Y has in place to protect youth and young adults in our care. The Y began conducting background checks on all new employees in the 1980s. Over the years, we have further strengthened our policies for screening and training staff and volunteers.
We thoroughly screen staff and volunteers, including completing mandatory criminal background checks and using behavioral-based questions. We conduct reference checks which include questions on the applicant's suitability to work with children.
All staff and volunteers are required to participate in training about inappropriate behavior and prevention of child abuse, identifying the signs of abuse, and reporting suspected incidents. We ensure that staff and volunteers understand their mandatory responsibility to report suspected abuse.
All members are screened through a national sex offender registry upon entry to any of our local Ys. Our membership database is regularly screened, and results are reviewed by Y staff for any red flags. If needed, appropriate action is immediately taken.
Y staff educate youth in our programs through safety talks about appropriate and inappropriate touching and personal space limits. These talks are intended to empower youth and provide them with the skills to help them avoid potentially abusive situations.
We carefully supervise and monitor all our programs. Our policies are designed to limit circumstances in which staff and volunteers are alone with a child or teen where they cannot be observed. We also actively limit staff contact with youth outside of Y programs.
In addition to all these preventative actions, we also provide families with the information and guidance needed to talk about child abuse and personal safety with their children at home and how to respond in the best interest of the child.
Download > Protect your Child from Abuse Booklet
We, as Y staff, members, volunteers, community, and families, can develop three key habits in child abuse prevention:
Know and understand common practices of those who harm you and best practices to stop them.
See and recognize the warning signs or behaviors that signal abuse or risk for abuse.
Respond and take action in response to behaviors recognized as being inappropriate or questionable.
To report suspected abuse or for more resources on abuse prevention training, contact us at (206) 749-7590 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Local CPS Office: 1 (866) 363-4276
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We've made it easier than ever to find member and account information with our new Support Center. Find instructions for managing your account, easy access to request forms, and a complete list of our policies all in one place.