Child Safety

Our Club is committed to keeping children safe. It is our #1 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.

If you have any questions about child safety please contact CEO, Jason Presto, at (920) 361-2717 ext. 201 or jpresto@bgctric.org.

Culture of Safety

The Boys & Girls Club of the Tri-County Area continually updates robust safety policies, programs and trainings 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:

  • Secure facilities for all our programs
  • Active, engaged board-led safety and security committee
  • Annual safety improvement planning and other accountability systems
  • Ongoing education and training for staff
  • Criminal history background checks on all employees
  • Child abuse prevention training for all of our part-time and full-time staff
  • Web blockers put in place to help prevent children from inappropriate content.

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 the Tri-County Area 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 and board member at Boys & Girls Club of the Tri-County Area. In addition, criminal background checks are required for any volunteer who has direct contact with children. All potential employees and volunteers are run through the National Offender Registry.

Required Immediate Reporting

Boys & Girls Club of the Tri-County Area 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 the 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. Each assessment is overseen by our board-led Safety & Security Committee.

Safety Committee

Boys & Girls Club of the Tri-County Area has a dedicated board-led safety committee to provide input and guidance on local policies and safety strategies. Priorities and initiatives include:

  • Building safety and annual assessments
  • Emergency preparedness and evacuation

Safety Training

Ongoing training and supervision of staff is critical. We participate in a wide variety of child safety and emergency preparedness training. We also engage leading third-safety experts to provide guidance for our policies and approaches, including Praesidium, the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, and the National Children’s Advocacy Center.

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.

Parent Safety References

Boys & Girls Clubs partnered with RAINN—the nation’s leading organization dedicated to abuse prevention, awareness, and response—to provide parent resources to support abuse prevention. Click here to access resources that support awareness and prevention to ensure all young people remain safe.

Anti-Bullying Policy

Our Club has a ZERO tolerance policy in regards to bullying. Our Club staff respond quickly and consistently to bullying behavior to send the message that it is not acceptable. Club youth and their parents/guardians are required to sign an anti-bullying contract prior to becoming a member at our Club. For additional resources to prevent bullying, visit stopbullying.gov.

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 the Tri-County Area partners with:

  • Berlin Police Department
  • Berlin Area School District
  • Berlin Fire Department
  • Green Lake Sheriff’s Department
  • Green Lake Area School District
  • Green Lake/Brooklyn Fire 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 Club of Oshkosh. To learn more about our national safety policies and actions, please visit Boys & Girls Clubs of America’s Child Safety page, here.