Ensuring the safety of children is fundamental to our mission.
The safety of young people has always been and remains our number one priority. Even one safety incident is too many. The Boys & Girls Club of Pawtucket has ZERO tolerance for anything that puts children at risk. We take very seriously any allegation that impacts the well-being of the young people entrusted to our care. Our members deserve nothing less than our constant focus on their safety and our firm commitment to protect every child who enters the doors of our Club.
As a local Club, we have a mandatory requirement to immediately report all incidents to the appropriate authorities and to Boys & Girls Clubs of America regardless of severity. We encourage all young people to report any incident or situation in which they feel uncomfortable or unsafe.
Ensuring the safety and protection of the youth we serve is critical to our mission. We have safety precautions in place, including employment policies that require all staff and volunteers undergo a thorough and comprehensive criminal background check. Additionally, we have comprehensive safety policies in place, including mandatory annual safety assessments, and a board-led safety committee to elevate safety to the highest level. 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.
Culture of Safety
The Boys & Girls Club of Pawtucket is committed to providing a safe and secure experience for youth. We implement a Safety Plan that follows the best practices available today, using the latest advances in technology and expertise. We implement layers of safety policies and guidelines to keep our kids safe including: Safety Policies: The Boys & Girls Club of Pawtucket has comprehensive safety policies in place that protect youth – including, but not limited to, supervision, transportation, communication and prohibiting private one-on-one contact.
Mandatory Background Checks
Mandatory criminal background checks are required annually for every staff member and board member at our Club. In addition, criminal background checks are required annually for any volunteer who has direct contact with children. All potential employees and volunteers are also run through the National Sex Offender Registry. Boys & Girls Clubs of America partners with one of the largest background screening companies to provide the most comprehensive screenings available today.
Required Immediate Reporting
Our staff are mandatory reporters and as such, have a “duty to report”. Any person having “reasonable cause to know or suspect” that any child has been abused or neglected is required to report such knowledge or suspicion within 24 hours to the RI Department of Children, Youth and Families at 1-800-RI-CHILD. 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 Club.
Ongoing training and supervision of staff is critical. Our staff participate in a wide variety of child safety training conducted through seminars, conferences and webinars. 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.
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.
The Boys & Girls Club of Pawtucket has a dedicated Board-led Safety Committee to provide input and guidance on local policies and safety strategies.
State and Local Laws
We comply with federal, state and local safety laws, including those impacting facilities and vehicles.
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 Taskforce, 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, the Boys & Girls Club of Pawtucket partners with Butler & Messier Insurance, Coastline EAP, Pawtucket Police Department, Pawtucket School Department, several community organizations, and beyond.
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.
Each year, the Boys & Girls Club of Pawtucket provides nearly 4,000 young people with a safe space during out-of-school time hours. These young people are served by close to 200 paid professional staff and more than 100 volunteers who guide and mentor in a positive Club environment. Our focus remains on creating a nurturing environment where youth are safe, happy and empowered to become healthy, active and productive adults. Our commitment to kids and their safety is unwavering.