- 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 SafeClub@Praesidiuminc.com.
- Mandatory Background Checks: Mandatory criminal background checks are required every year for every staff 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 (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
- 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
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.