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
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.
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 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.
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.
We complete a safety assessment each year to ensure we continually make improvements to safety at our Clubs.
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.
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:
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.
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:
Locally, Boys & Girls Clubs of Dorchester also partners closely with: The Boston Police Department
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.