Boys & Girls Club of Greater New Bedford
At the Boys & Girls Club of Greater New Bedford, Child Safety is Job No. 1
Ensuring child safety is fundamental to the mission of Boys & Girls Club of Greater New Bedford.
The Safety and Wellbeing of Young People is Our Number One Priority.
The Boys & Girls Club of Greater New Bedford works every day to create a safe, inclusive and fun environment so kids can have every opportunity to be successful in life. We have no tolerance for inappropriate behavior of any kind, including child sexual abuse or misconduct, and we put resources behind that stance.
Culture of Safety: Boys & Girls Club of Greater New Bedford continually updates robust safety policies, programs and training for our staff and volunteers that are designed to promote child safety and protect young people from threats that are present in our society.
We continually enhance and implement layers of safety policies and guidelines to keep our kids safe including:
- We are mandated reporters and report all concerns all to the proper authority
- Background checks for all potential staff and volunteers
- Policies and Procedures are in place to prevent potential incidents
Safety Policies: Boys & Girls Club of Greater New Bedford has comprehensive safety policies in place that protect youth – including, but not limited to, supervision, transportation, communication and prohibiting private one-on-one contact.
24-hour Toll-free Child Safety Hotline: We encourage all staff, members and families to report any incident or situation they feel is unsafe. Through our national partnership with Praesidium, one of the nation’s leading safety experts, Boys & Girls Club of Greater New Bedford members and staff have access to a confidential 24-hour toll-free Child Safety Hotline, 866-607-SAFE (7233) or email SafeClub@Praesidiuminc.com.
Mandatory Background Checks: Mandatory criminal background checks are required upon hire and annually for every staff and board member at Boys & Girls Club of Greater New Bedford. In addition, criminal background checks are required for any volunteer who has direct contact with children. All potential employees and volunteers are also run through the National Sex Offenders Registry.
Required Immediate Reporting: Boys & Girls Club of Greater New Bedford staff and volunteers are all mandated reporters. We are required to report any critical incident/safety concern to local authorities immediately. 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.
Safety Trainings: Ongoing training and supervision of staff is critical. We participate in a wide variety of child safety training conducted such as seminars, webinars and workshops. 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.
Safety Committee: Boys & Girls Club of Greater New Bedford has a dedicated safety committee to provide input and guidance on local policies and safety strategies. Priorities and initiatives include:
- All matters pertaining to the safety of members, staff, volunteers and visitors.
- Conducting regular assessments, trainings, and measurements of safety within our organization
- Reporting all findings to the full Board of Directors
- 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.
State and Local Laws: We comply with federal, state and local safety laws, including those impacting facilities and vehicles.
Safety Partnerships: 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 Task Force, 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, Boys & Girls Club of Greater New Bedford partners with:
- New Bedford School Department
- New Bedford Police Department
- Bristol County District Attorney’s Office
- New Bedford Health Department
Continued Commitment: In July, 2020, all local Boys & Girls Clubs voted to adopt additional safety measures to further improve safety within our Clubs. Many of these practices were already in place, however, Boys & Girls Clubs determined these practices should be mandatory for all Clubs. These measures include more stringent reference and background checks, enhanced Club Safety Committee requirements for all Club, greater communication of key safety resources and information available for staff and members, and more.
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.
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 at Boys & Girls Club of Greater New Bedford. To learn more about our national safety policies and actions, please visit Boys & Girls Clubs of America’s Child Safety page, here.
Expect to graduate high school
85% of Members
Live below the poverty line.
Boost of self esteem through arts, wellness and technology programs.
Feel cared about by club staff
of members say staff encourage them to try new things.
of members enjoy trying new things