Commitment to Safety

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. 

 Boys & Girls Clubs of Silicon Valley, 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 guidelines to keep our kids safe including:

  • Safety Policies

  • 24-Hour Toll Free Child Safety Hotline

  • Mandatory Background Checks

  • Required Immediate Reporting

  • Mandatory Annual Safety Assessments

  • Safety Trainings

  • Safety Committee

  • Mandatory Employee Reference

  • State and Local Laws

  • Safety Partnerships

Boys & Girls Clubs of Silicon Valley, 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 Silicon Valley, members and staff have access to a confidential 24-hour toll-free Child Safety Hotline, 866-607-SAFE (7233) or email [email protected].

Mandatory criminal background checks are required every year for every staff and board member at Boys & Girls Clubs of Silicon Valley. 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 Offender Registry or Name of Provider.

 Boys & Girls Clubs of Silicon Valley, 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 Safety Awareness Day, webinars and an 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 Silicon Valley, has a dedicated safety committee to provide input and guidance on local policies and safety strategies. Priorities and initiatives include:

  • Annual review of the organization’s safety policies

  • Annual review to the Emergency Operations and Safety Plan

  • Completion of the organization’s annual Safety Assessment

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:

  • 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 Silicon Valley, partners with:

  • Municipal governments, law enforcement and emergency services (Gilroy, Morgan Hill
    and San Jose)

  • Santa Clara County Public Health Department

  • American Red Cross

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 Silicon Valley. To learn more about our national safety policies and actions, please visit Boys & Girls Clubs of America’s Child Safety page, here.

DIVERSITY, EQUITY & INCLUSION

Boys & Girls Clubs of Silicon Valley stands against racism, discrimination and inequity. The principle of equity embodies the values, policies and practices that ensure that all people—including, but not limited to, those who have been historically marginalized, underserved and underrepresented based on race/ethnicity, age, disability, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, gender expression, socioeconomic status, geography, citizenship status or religion—are represented in the development and implementation of youth programs; the fair financial and supervisory support of staff; and the leadership of the organization.

We believe all young people should be afforded the guarantee of fair treatment, access and opportunity. Our mission compels us to support youth in reaching their full potential, which includes identifying and helping to eliminate barriers that prevent the full participation and advancement of some groups in this country, particularly Black, Brown, Indigenous and other persons of color. The essential work that is needed – to dismantle unjust and inequitable systems – is complex and requires intentional and decisive action nationally, locally and within our own organization. It is only through a collective effort that we can create a future that is equitable and accessible to all. Boys & Girls Clubs of Silicon Valley is dedicated to doing our part in this work, and our commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion is unwavering. It is core to our fundamental beliefs.

Breaking down the barriers presented by racism and inequity will require the collective efforts of individuals, organizations, corporations and government agencies. Boys & Girls Clubs of Silicon Valley will do our part to reach a future state where every young person has equal access and opportunity as we help equip young people to be prepared to seize those opportunities.

  • Boys & Girls Clubs of Silicon Valley will set the example of diversity, equity and inclusion and serve as a resource for other community-based organizations in achieving the same.

  • We will provide safe spaces for youth and train staff and volunteers to use trauma-informed practices through programs, mentoring and, where applicable, counseling.

  • Club members will understand the importance of social responsibility and will be empowered to take part in civic engagement that will lead to positive change.

  • Together, we will work to achieve social reforms to address barriers to youth success in areas including health, education, housing, criminal justice and policing.

Our holistic and multi-pronged approach focuses on five priority pillars. Each pillar is dependent on the others to support meaningful solutions locally, regionally and nationally.

People
Ensuring our practices are trauma-informed and youth-centered AND that Club staff and board are well-trained in anti-racism and equity work.

Programs
Ensuring our programs are inclusive, culturally relevant AND nurture and elevate youth voice through youth-led and co-created experiences and opportunities. 

Policies
Ensuring our business policies and practices are best in class as it relates to diversity, equity and inclusion AND that youth facing policies support equitable and inclusive programming.

Public Policy
Elevating issues that matter most to youth and teens AND advocating for social reforms and public policy change at the federal, state and local levels through a robust, sustained advocacy strategy.

Partnerships
Identifying and accelerating local partnerships to support community-focused solutions to our community’s most urgent needs AND that help builds our expertise in the work of racial justice and equity.