Child Safety is our Number ONE Priority!
At Aztec Boys & Girls Club (ABGC), 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 bullying, child sexual abuse, harassment, or other misconduct.
Our Club Response to COVID-19
At ABGC, we have worked continuously since the beginning of the pandemic to ensure we are both serving the community and our members in the healthiest, safest ways possible. Currently:
- Staff is regularly screened for COVID-19.
- Everyone entering building has their temperature checked and is screened for symptoms.
- Only those conducting business with the Club are permitted entrance. Access to the building is limited to the front entryway, except for staff and Club members.
- Programs numbers are limited, with separate cohort groups.
- Social distancing is observed in the Club, with activity stations separated by barriers.
- Strict disinfection protocols to reduce transmission vectors from surfaces and airborne particles.
Please see the “COVID Parent Agreement” for further details on practices during the pandemic.
Culture of Safety
Aztec Boys & Girls Club continually updates our safety policies, programs and training for our staff and volunteers. They are designed to promote child safety and protect young people from threats. We implement layers of safety policies and guidelines to keep our kids safe including:
• Requiring all staff members to complete Boys & Girls Clubs of America’s (BGCA) Child Safety Abuse Prevention Curriculum
• Staff certifications in Youth Mental Health First Aid
• Partnering with our Aztec PD on safety practices
• Having a dedicated Safety Committee to provide input and guidance on local policies and safety strategies
Aztec Boys & Girls Club has comprehensive safety policies in place that protect youth – including, but not limited to, supervision, transportation, communication and prohibiting private one-on-one contact.
Ongoing training and coaching of staff is critical. We participate in a wide variety of child safety training, including classes, webinars, and online training programs. Regular youth CPR & First Aid Training is offered to all staff, and senior staff members all have been trained in Youth Mental Health First Aid practices designed to spot and intercede in self harming behaviors. In addition, our CEO recently completed certification as a Peer Safety Consultant for other Clubs and organizations, helping to build safe practices across the Boys & Girls Club Movement nationwide.
Mandatory Annual Safety Assessments
We annually ensure we are 100% compliant with BGCA standards and local regulations. We continually make safety improvements at our Club to adhere to all safety protocols. In addition, our Board Safety Committee conducts quarterly “walk-throughs” to offer suggestions to continue safety improvement.
Aztec Boys & Girls Club has a dedicated, Board-led, safety committee which provides input and guidance on local policies and strategies. Priorities and initiatives include:
• Providing staff with guidance to ensure 100% safety compliance
• Reviewing policies and procedures that support a safe Club environment
• Reviewing the National Youth Outcomes Initiative (NYOI) data to ensure kids feel safe at the Club
• Conducting quarterly walk-throughs of the facility to spot areas where physical safety may be improved.
ABGC has a strict non-fraternization policy, which prohibits personal relationships with members outside of club duties.
Mandatory Background Checks
Mandatory criminal background checks are required every year for every staff and board member at ABGC. In addition, criminal background checks are required for any volunteer who has direct contact with children. Anyone who has been employed by any Boys & Girls Club in the past must be checked against that employer before being hired at this, or any, Club.
Required Immediate Reporting
In NM, all adults are mandatory reporters; however, at ABGC staff is trained to watch for signs and keep track of behaviors that might indicate signs of abuse or mistreatment and will 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.
State and Local Laws
We comply with federal, state and local safety laws, including those impacting facilities and vehicles.
Locally, ABGC partners with:
• American Red Cross
• Sexual Assault Services of NW New Mexico
• NM Children, Youth, & Families Division
Through these partnerships we provide enhanced training for kids to protect themselves and staff to become better advocates and protectors of our youth.
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
In addition, BGCA 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.
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