YMCA of Greater Seattle is Committed to Child Safety
Seattle, August 21, 2018 – The YMCA of Greater Seattle is aware that charges have been filed against Pierce and Kitsap Counties YMCA, arising from alleged misconduct that may have occurred at its Camp Seymour facility in the 1970s. We are heartbroken that any child may have suffered harm while at any Y, no matter how long ago.
The Y’s practice is not to comment on legal issues based on legal counsel recommendation and out of respect for everyone involved.
At the Y, we work hard to keep our kids safe. Today, we require a complete criminal background check for all employees and for all volunteers who work with children. Additionally, all members and guests who enter a YMCA facility are immediately screened through a national sex offender registry.
Here are some additional practices the YMCA has in place to protect children in our care:
- We provide Abuse Prevention Rules that employees and volunteers read and commit to, including a policy that prohibits a YMCA staff person or volunteer from being alone with a child where they cannot be observed by others.
- We also provide Abuse Prevention training for all employees that is renewed every year, with more in depth training for staff and volunteers who work directly with youth.
- In addition, if a YMCA staff member or volunteer becomes aware of any incident of suspected child abuse, a report is made to Child Protective Services for investigation and follow-up.
- We have discussions with children about appropriate touching and personal-space limits to encourage them to tell and to get help.
- We don’t allow off-hours access of staff with youth they meet at the YMCA.
- We provide Abuse Prevention brochures for parents, to educate them on how they can help prevent their child from experiencing abuse.
Our safety measures exceed what is required by Washington state law.
About the YMCA of Greater Seattle
The YMCA of Greater Seattle is the Northwest’s leading nonprofit organization strengthening communities through youth development, healthy living and social responsibility. Founded in 1876, the Y reaches more than 238,000 people of all backgrounds, abilities and financial circumstances annually through 13 branches, two overnight camps and more than 200 program sites throughout King and south Snohomish counties. It nurtures more than 92,000 kids and teens to develop their gifts and give back to our community and engages 23,000 volunteers who contribute more than 388,000 hours of service each year. Visit seattleymca.org