Commitment to Safety

Boys & Girls Clubs of Dorchester COVID-19 Resources

BGCD’s Response to COVID-19

Our commitment to keeping the young people we serve safe is always our number one priority. Following the Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, it’s important that you know Boys & Girls Clubs of Dorchester is doing everything possible to keep your child, our staff and volunteers protected from its spread. At this time and based on current information and direction from the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH) and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), Boys & Girls Clubs of Dorchester will continue our programs and schedules as usual. You will be notified promptly should there be any change in services. In addition to our already extremely high standards of cleaning and maintenance, our program staff have been tasked with adding additional deep cleaning procedures and wiping down surfaces hourly to our daily routine.

As a reminder, we recommend these preventive actions every family should take to prevent exposure
to COVID-19.

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Notify the Club if you are returning from travel destinations currently under quarantine.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
  • Follow CDC’s recommendations for using a face mask.
    • CDC does not recommend that people who are well wear a face mask to protect themselves from respiratory diseases, including COVID-19.
    • Face masks should be used by people who show symptoms of COVID-19 to help prevent the spread of the disease to others.
  • Wash your hands often.
    • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
    • It takes an average of 11.8 seconds to sing the entire Happy Birthday song, so if you sing it twice, which will ensure you’ve scrubbed long enough. This is a great method to share with children in your family. While this measure is simple, it is effective.
    • If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty.
  • The CDC also provides specific guidance for travelers. CDC recommends avoiding nonessential travel.
    • Travelers should avoid contact with sick people and clean their hands often by washing with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with 60%–95% alcohol.
    • Travelers should stay home for 14 days after returning to the United States and practice social distancing.
    • Travelers that are sick with fever, cough, or have trouble breathing should call ahead before seeking medical care.

**We cannot emphasize this enough. Please keep your child home if he/she is not feeling well. Following this advice is one of the most effective ways we can keep everyone in our programs healthy.

Should you have any questions or concerns about this or any other matter, please do not hesitate to contact BGCD. Our commitment to you and your children is unwavering.

At Boys & Girls Clubs of Dorchester, Child Safety is Job No. 1

Ensuring child safety is fundamental to the mission of Boys & Girls Clubs of Dorchester.

The Safety and Well-being of Young People is Our Number One Priority

We work every day to create a safe, fun environment so kids can have every opportunity to be successful in life. We have ZERO 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 Clubs of Dorchester 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 implement layers of safety policies and trainings to keep our kids safe including:

• Mental Health Awareness Training from The Mentor Network
• General Safety Trainings from the Boston Police Department
• Identifying and Reporting Child Abuse Training

  • Safety Policies: Boys & Girls Clubs of Dorchester 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 Clubs of Dorchester members and staff have access to a confidential 24-hour toll-free Child Safety Hotline, 866-607-SAFE (7233) or email
  • Mandatory Background Checks: Mandatory criminal background checks are required upon hire and annual for every staff and board member at Boys & Girls Clubs of Dorchester. In addition, criminal background checks are required for any volunteer who has direct contact with children. As a youth services and early education and care provider we are required to run a CORI, SORI and National Criminal Search on all applicants being considered for employment, intern/work study and volunteer services. This requirement is not something that can be waived or taken lightly. Our licensing and ability to run programs and obtain funding is contingent on consistently meeting and enforcing this requirement. As an organization we run the following background checks prior to an offer for employment or volunteering and on an annual basis (not to exceed a 12 month period): Criminal Offender Record Information (CORI) checks, Sex Offender Registry Information (SORI) and National Criminal Search and National Sex Offender Registry (First Advantage) and National Criminal Record File/Fingerprinting (CORI DCJIS) for our Early Education & Care Program.
  • Required Immediate Reporting: Boys & Girls Clubs of Dorchester 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 Clubs.
  • Safety Trainings: Ongoing training and supervision of staff is critical. We participate in a wide variety of child safety training conducted such as various seminars, conferences, webinars and a semi-annual safety symposium. 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 Clubs of Dorchester has a dedicated safety committee to provide input and guidance on local policies and safety strategies. Priorities and initiatives include:
      • Building and grounds safety initiatives
      • Updated operations manual
      • E-Alerts
  • 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 Clubs of Dorchester also partners closely with:

      • The Boston Police 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 references and background checks, enhanced Club Safety Committee requirements for all Clubs, 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 Clubs of Dorchester. To learn more about our national safety policies and actions, please visit Boys & Girls Clubs of America’s Child Safety page, here.