Commitment
to Safety

At Boys & Girls Clubs of Benton County, the health, safety, and well being of our Club members and staff is our highest priority.  In the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, Boys & Girls Club of Benton County has committed to adopting the following enhanced best practices intended to help limit the potential spread of the illness, per the recommendations of the CDC and local boards of health.

  • Daily health status screenings and masks:  We’ll monitor staff and members daily for signs for fever using no-touch infrared thermometers at all points of entry.  Masks will be mandatory for all staff and Club members.

  • Hand sanitizing stations:  We have installed hand sanitizing stations in each area and doorway and encourage use before and after each activity.

  • Daily sanitizing of program areas:  We’re committing to increasing our sanitization of all program areas and close contact equipment.

  • Social distancing best practices:  We will adopt social distancing best practices including limiting unnecessary contact during program activities.

  • Smaller program group sizes:  We will reduce the size of groups to limit the contact between different groups of varying age.

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Ensuring the Safety of Our Club Kids

At Boys & Girls Club of Benton County, we incorporate national safety standards and work with other community organizations to consistently strengthen our safety programming through new training.

BACKGROUND CHECKS

TRAINING

& TOOLS

EQUIPMENT

FACILITIES

POLICIES

Mandatory criminal background checks are required for every employee, volunteer, and board member who has direct contact with children. These are conducted in advance, as well as each year.

Each year, staff receive training on the requirements of being a Mandated Reporter, how to prevent, recognize, and react responsibly to childhood sexual abuse, First Aid/CPR, Supervision of Children, Safety First, and more.

We focus on safety when making resource allocations and decisions regarding equipment and other capital expenditures.

Club-owned facilities have been renovated or built to maintain clear lines of sight throughout the building, allow for single-use restrooms, and eliminate any blind spots from supervision.

Our Safety Policies & Procedures outline clear steps to prevent safety issues and concerns. See below for more information on the steps we take to ensure safety is our #1 priority.

BGCBC employs a zero-tolerance policy for any disregard of our procedures. If any issues or concerns are brought to our attention, we contact the police and Child Protective Services immediately. If you have any safety-related concerns or questions, please contact your local Club OR our Chief Operations Officer,Kyle Meredith. Additionally, the national organization offers a 24-hour hotline, 1-866-607-SAFE, and has developed a Child Safety Portal.

Please read about all the steps we take to ensure the safety of our Club members below.

Boys & Girls Club of Benton County Child Safety Code of Conduct

The Boys & Girls Club of Benton County provides our Club members with the highest quality services available.  We are committed to creating an environment that is safe, nurturing, empowering, and that promotes growth and success.  No form of abuse will be tolerated and confirmed abuse will result in immediate dismissal from the Club.  Our club will fully cooperate with authorities if allegations of abuse are made that require investigation.

 

This code of conduct outlines specific expectations of the Club staff and volunteers as we strive to accomplish our mission together.

 

General

  • Youth will be treated with respect at all times

  • Youth will be treated fairly regardless of race, sex, age, or religion.

  • Staff and volunteers will follow the Club’s policies regarding conduct with youth outside of Club programs.

  • Staff and volunteers will avoid affection with youth that cannot be observed by others.

  • Staff and volunteers will not use profanity or tell off-color jokes.

  • Staff and volunteers will not discuss their sexual encounters with or around youth or in any way involve youth in their personal problems or issues.

  • Staff and volunteers will not date or become romantically involved with youth.

  • Staff and volunteers will not use or be under the influence of alcohol or illegal drugs in the presence of youth.

  • Staff and volunteers will not have sexually oriented materials.

  • Staff and volunteers will not have secrets with youth.

  • Staff and volunteers will not stare at or comment on youths’ bodies.

  • Staff and volunteers will not abuse youth in any way including, but not limited to:

    • Physical abuse:  hitting, spanking, shaking, unnecessary restraints

    • Verbal abuse:  degrading, threatening, cursing

    • Sexual abuse:  inappropriate touch, exposing oneself, sexually oriented conversations

    • Mental abuse:  shaming, humiliation, cruelty

    • Neglect:  withholding food, water, shelter

  • Youth are prohibited from engaging in the following:

    • Hazing

    • Bullying

    • Derogatory name-calling

    • Games of Truth or Dare

    • Ridicule or humiliation

  • Sexual activity including, but not limited to:

    • Inappropriate touch

    • Exposing oneself

    • Sexually oriented conversations

 

Visiting members’ homes

Staff and volunteers are expressly prohibited from visiting members’ homes unless authorized by the members’ parents in advance and the parents are present.  Members are prohibited from visiting staff members’ homes unless a part of a Club function approved in writing by the Executive Director.

 

One-on-one interaction

Most abuse occurs when an adult is alone with a youth.  Our Club aims to eliminate or reduce these situations and prohibits one-on-one interactions unless approved in advance by the Unit Director.

 

In those situations where one-on-one interactions are approved, staff and volunteers should observe the following additional guidelines to manage the risk of abuse or false allegations of abuse:

  • When meeting one-on-one with a youth, always do so in a public place in full view of others.

  • Avoid physical affection that can be misinterpreted.  Limit affection to pats on the shoulder, high-fives, and handshakes.

  • If meeting in a room, leave the door open or move to an area that can be easily observed by others passing by.

  • Inform other staff/volunteers that you are alone with a youth and ask them to randomly drop in.

  • Document and immediately report any unusual incidents, including disclosures of abuse or mistreatment, behavior problems and how they were handles, injuries, or any interactions that might be misinterpreted.

 

Bathroom Activities

Most incidents of youth-to-youth abuse occur in the bathrooms.  Therefore, employees must adhere to the following bathroom supervision guideline:

  • Club staff and volunteers should randomly and periodically monitor bathrooms to ensure that youth are not lingering there.  It is important that staff and volunteers periodically check restrooms so that youth know that an adult could walk in at any time.

  • Staff and volunteers are to use the staff bathroom.

 

Overnight trips/field trips

In the event that there is an overnight trip/field trip where members are involved, the same code of conduct applies. 

 

Transportation

Transporting youth may increase the risk of abuse or false allegations of abuse because staff and volunteers may be alone with a youth or may make unauthorized stops with youth.  In addition, transportation activities may provide a time for unsupervised youth to engage in youth-to-youth sexual activity.

 

Club vehicles are used for transporting members, employees, board members, supplies, etc.  They are for Club related activities only, not for personal use.  Only drivers approved by the Club’s insurance carrier may drive a Club vehicle.  Human Resources will keep the unit Director apprised of approved drivers.  The Unit Director is responsible for the keys to the vehicles kept at his/her site.  While driving the vehicles, eating is prohibited and cell phone use is only permitted for an emergency while pulled over to the side of the road.

 

When it is necessary to transport youth, staff and volunteers must adhere to steps described below.

 

When transporting youth by bus or van:

  • Administrators must be notified of all transportation activities.

  • Youth must never be transported without written permission from a parent or guardian.  Staff and volunteers must take these permission forms and medical releases with them on the trip.

  • Determine the number of staff and volunteers necessary to adequately supervise the youth, which will be approved by the Director on a case by case basis, determined by type of activity.

  • The driver should not be assigned as a supervisor for the youth while transporting to or from events.

  • Staff and volunteers should be seated throughout the bus for easier supervision of youth.

  • Take a head count or roll call before loading and after unloading vehicles.

  • When possible, use the “rule of three” when transporting youth:  At least two adults must transport a single youth, or at least two youth must be present if transported by a single adult.

  • Youth must be transported directly to their destination.  No unauthorized stops may be made.

  • Staff must avoid unnecessary physical contact with youth while in vehicles.

 

Electronic Communication

Electronic communication between employees and Club members may increase the risk of misconduct or false allegations of misconduct because private communications can cause an appearance of impropriety.

 

The following is the Boys & Girls Club of Benton County electronic communication and social media policy.  The lack of an explicit reference to a specific site or form of media does not limit the extent of the application of this policy.  Where no policy or guideline exists, employee should use their professional judgment and take the most prudent action possible.  Consult the CEO if you are uncertain.

  • Employees are prohibited from communicating with youth using social media platforms other than the Club’s social media pages.

  • Employees should not publish any information regarding Club members without express consent from a parent as well as a supervisor’s consent.

  • Use sound judgment.  Employees are responsible for what is published on their social media accounts by themselves, and by others.

  • Employees are prohibited from communicating with Club members using text message, instant message and email except via their Club accounts.

  • There may be rare occasions where electronic communication can occur (Conferences, Off-site programs, etc.).  Such instances must be approved in writing by the CEO and parent/guardian prior to the event. 

  • When communicating with youth, employees should avoid all discussions, pictures and videos that are, or could be construed by any observer to be threatening, derogatory, sexual, or otherwise inappropriate.

  • Any electronic communication received from a Club member should be reported to a supervisor immediately.

 

 

 

EMPLOYEE CONDUCT STANDARDS

 

The Club expects all of its employees to conduct themselves in a manner, which is in the best interests of the organization, and its employees.  The Club has established policies and procedures for the convenience and protection of all its employees.  Violations of any of these policies and procedures are considered misconduct and appropriate disciplinary procedures will be initiated.

 

Activity detrimental to the Club includes habitual lateness and/or absenteeism, destruction of property, fighting, reporting to work under the influence of drugs or alcohol, stealing, insubordination, refusing to perform an assignment, and others. The following list is not all‑inclusive but provides an example of improper conduct.

 

  1. Violation of the Club's equal opportunity or harassment policy

  2. Disclosure of confidential Club or employee information to unauthorized parties

  3. Behavior resulting in Club member, vendor or employee complaints

  4. Supplying false or misleading information or falsifying any Club record

  5. Possession of weapons on or off premises or while performing Club duties

  6. Immoral or indecent conduct; soliciting persons for immoral purposes

  7. Insubordination, including but not limited to, refusing to obey an order or directive of a supervisor or Club official

  8. Disruptive conduct, including: gambling; fighting; horseplay; coercion; intimidation or threats against Club employees; vulgarity; abusive treatment to the public or fellow employees

  9. Theft or unauthorized possession or removal of property or money belonging to the Club, employees, or a third party

  10. Making or publishing false, vicious or malicious statements concerning an employee, supervisor, Club official, or its products

  11. Destruction or misuse of property

  12. Any other conduct which violates any Club policy or which is not in the best interests of the organization

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Give kids a safe place to go after school and during the summer.

PO Box 448   |   Bentonville, AR 72712

479-273-7187

© 2020 Boys & Girls Clubs of Benton County.
All rights reserved.


BGCBC is a 501(c)3 (nonprofit) organization and donations are tax-deductible.