Safety


At Boys & Girls Club of the Bemidji Area, Child Safety is Job No. 1

Ensuring child safety is fundamental to the mission of Boys & Girls Club of the Bemidji Area.

The safety and wellbeing of young people is our number one 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 the stance.

Culture of Safety: the Boys & Girls Club of the Bemidji Area 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 continually enhance and implement layers of safety policies and guidelines to keep our kids safe including:

  • Staff wear ID badges and uniforms
  • Visitors required to sign in and out of building
  • Secured entrance into Club
  • Video surveillance around Club facility and front entry

Safety Policies: the Boys & Girls Club of the Bemidji Area has comprehensive safety policies in place that protect youth – including, but not limited to:

  • One-on-one contact
  • Drug and alcohol free workplace
  • Fraternization
  • Supervision
  • Restroom usage
  • Transportation

Mandatory Background Checks: Mandatory criminal background and sex offender checks are completed for all staff and volunteers at the Boys & Girls Club of the Bemidji Area whom have access to members.

Required Immediate Reporting: the Boys & Girls Club of the Bemidji Area 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 Club.

Safety Trainings: Ongoing training and supervision of staff is critical. Staff participate in a wide variety of child safety trainings upon hire and continuously throughout their employment. 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.

Program and Safety Committee: the Boys & Girls Club of the Bemidji Area has a dedicated program and safety committee comprised of staff and community leaders to provide input and guidance on local policies and safety strategies.

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, the Boys & Girls of the Bemidji Area partners with the following including, but not limited to:

  • Local Law Enforcement and Emergency Responders
  • County social services
  • Department of Human Services
  • Support Within Reach
  • Local schools
  • Beltrami County Public Health
  • Support Within Reach

Continued Commitment: The Boys & Girls Club of the Bemidji Area is continually reviewing, updating and creating additional safety measures to further improve safety within our Club.

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 the Boys & Girls Club of the Bemidji Area members and staff have access to  a confidential 24-hour toll-free Child Safety Hotline, 866-607-SAFE (7233) or email SafeClub@nullPraesidiuminc.com.

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.

Our community’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 the Boys & Girls Club of the Bemidji Area. To learn more about our national safety policies and actions, please visit Boys & Girls Clubs of America’s Child Safety page, here.

 

*For more details on safety related policies or procedures, contact Impact/Administrative Director Karl Mork at karl.mork@nullbgcbemidji.org