At the Boys and Girls Club of the Grand Strand, Child Safety is job No. 1
BGCGS follows the guidelines of Horry County Schools in regards to Covid Safety Policies and Procedures. For more information, click on the link https://www.horrycountyschools.net/covid19
The Safety and Wellbeing of Young People is Our Number One Priority
We work every day to create a safe, inclusive and fun environment so kids can have every opportunity to be successful in life. We have no tolerance for inappropriate behavior of any kind, including child sexual abuse or misconduct, and we put resources behind that stance.
Culture of Safety: The Boys and Girls Club of the Grand Strand continually updates robust safety policies, programs and training for staff and volunteers to promote child safety and protect young people from threats in our society.
Safety Policies: BGCGS maintains comprehensive safety policies that protect youth, including but not limited to policies on supervision, transportation, communication and prohibition of one-on-one contact.
Staff/Volunteers shall not:
- Initiate one-on-one contact with a member.
- Have a private meeting or communication with a member. This includes in-person meetings and virtual communications such as texting, video chat, and social media.
- Volunteers are not allowed one on one interaction without the presence of another staff member
- Ensure meetings and communications (in-person and virtual) between members and staff and volunteers include at least three individuals.
- Ensure in-person meetings take place in areas where other staff and/or members are present.
- Communicate to another staff if an emergency arises.
Exceptions may only be made when delivering medical or counseling services by a licensed, trained therapist, or similar professional or in an emergency. All exceptions will be documented and provided to Club leadership.
Staff shall immediately inform Club leadership if a staff member, volunteer, or board member violates this policy. Should any adult staff, volunteer, or board member violate this policy, the Organization will take appropriate disciplinary action, up to and including termination.
Additional Policies for Club Member Safety Include:
- Pre-employment screening includes a national background check including sex offender registry check.
- Strict requirements around “barrier crimes” that prohibit job candidates from working or volunteering at a Club.
- A strong reference check requirement where all Clubs must obtain rehire eligibility information for all prospective staff or volunteers that previously worked at another Club before being allowed to be employed or volunteer at another Club.
- A BGCGS Safety Committee meets quarterly to ensure that our Club is being held accountable to the same metrics and responsibilities. Areas of focus include, but are not limited to, high quality personnel who understand the importance of safety and training to support personnel.
Required Immediate Reporting: BGCGS staff and volunteers are all mandated reporters and 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 employ a multi-tiered safety assessment approach to ensure we continually make improvements to safety at 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, BGCGS members and staff have access to a confidential 24-hour toll-free Child Safety Hotline at 866-607-SAFE (7233) or SafeClub@Praesidiuminc.com.
Nationally, Boys & Girls Clubs of America has advocated for passage of the U.S. PROTECT Act to improve 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 support the development of safety practices that benefit ALL youth-serving organizations.
When kids don’t feel safe and supported, they are unable to learn, grow, or develop resiliency skills that will aid them throughout their lives. Boys & Girls Clubs create a refuge, a second home, and a safe space where young people have the freedom to focus on reaching their full potential. Our commitment to the safety of young people is unyielding, and we will never stop doing whatever it takes to protect kids.
For more safety questions, call our office at (843) 839-3616 or send us a message through the website Contact page.