Safety

CPR Training

Ensuring Club member safety is fundamental to the mission of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Skagit County

The Safety and Wellbeing of the 5,000+ Skagit County Kids and Teens Served Each Year is our Number One Priority

We work every day to create a safe, fun, and positive Club environment so Club members 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 the organization invests resources purposefully to support this.

  • Mandatory Background Checks: Mandatory criminal background checks are required for every staff and board member of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Skagit County, and any volunteer who has direct contact with children. These are conducted in advance, as well as each year. They are conducted by a third-party vendor engaged for this purpose, and includes screenings through the child abuse and sex offender registry, as well as county, state, and national criminal records.
  • Training/Tools: 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, and more. These training elements are provided by leading third-party safety experts to ensure that Club staff are the most up-to-date in all areas of safety. In 2018, the Boys & Girls Clubs of Skagit County gained national attention with the development and execution of a Safety Tool that provides all staff and volunteers with easily accessible, at-a-glance ‘flip charts’ to respond appropriately to various emergency situations. These tools are located in each room of Club facilities, as well as vehicles, and have now been localized and adopted by other Clubs across the country.
  • Equipment: The Boys & Girls Clubs of Skagit County focuses on safety when making resource allocations and decisions regarding equipment and other capital expenditures. This includes being intentional when replacing Foos Ball tables, with new ones that feature telescoping rods to limit direct contact during play, to purchasing AED units and vehicles.
  • Facilities: 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 blindspots from supervision.
Safety Committee Site Visit

Manny Smith leads Tina Asp, a member of the Safety Committee, on a safety assessment of the Anacortes Club.

While the Boys & Girls Clubs of Skagit County is an independent 501 (c) 3 organization, governed by a local Board of Directors, there are membership requirements from Boys & Girls Clubs of America for all Club organizations which must be met to maintain compliance standards. In addition to annual Mandatory Background Checks, these include:

  • Safety Committee: Boys & Girls Clubs of Skagit County has a Board-led Program & Safety Committee to provide input and guidance on local policies and safety strategies. Current members include:
    • Bill Overby, Retired, Skagit Valley College, Law Enforcement/Campus Security
    • Tina Asp, Owner, Image360
    • Dr. Carl Bruner, Superintendent, Mount Vernon School District #320
    • Kelly Codlin, Safety Hygenist, Marathon Petroleum
    • Mark Nilson, Retired, School District Administrator
    • Eric Johnson, Stiles Law
    • Josh Axthelm, Architect, Fisher Construction Group
    • Manny Smith, Director of Operations, Boys & Girls Clubs of Skagit County
  • Mandatory Annual Safety Assessments: Each Club location completes an internal review in a specific online tool, as well as a safety audit by members of the Program & Safety Committee.
  • Required Immediate Reporting: Any critical incident must be reported to Boys & Girls Clubs of America with 24 hours.
  • Mandatory Employee Reference: Any employee interested in obtaining employment at another Boys & Girls Club, anywhere, is required to have a reference check completed from the previous Club, even if the Clubs are in the same community.
safety training

Staff participate in a formal training on our safety policies.

The Boys & Girls Clubs of Skagit County has a demonstrated Culture of Safety, through the continual update of 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, the implementation of curriculum with Club members designed to prevent incidences from occurring and empower kids and teens to report any inappropriate behaviors observe, and, regular site visits to maintain compliance and vigilance toward this effort.

  • Safety Policies: Boys & Girls Clubs of Skagit County has comprehensive safety policies in place that protect youth – including, but not limited to, supervision, transportation, communication, and prohibiting private one-on-one contact.
  • Defined Barrier Crimes: No individual with any felony conviction can serve in any capacity for any reason. Any conviction involving crimes against children, including pornography, child molestation, child abuse, abandonment, child neglect, enticing a child into a motor vehicle, structure or isolated area and/or endangering the welfare of a child results in a denial of employment or volunteer opportunities, as well as any misdemeanor conviction involving force or threat of force, crimes involving sexual assault rape, criminal sexual contact or lewdness, drugs or controlled substances or cruelty to animals is a barrier to service. Additionally, further investigation is required if there are findings of an incomplete investigation of any barrier crime, expunction, restoration of right, or pardon of any barrier crime, a charge involving a child but resulting in a favorable disposition to the applicant, or any charge that would be inconsistent with the mission of the Club organization.
  • Code of Conduct: The Boys & Girls Clubs of Skagit County strives to provide excellent youth development service, quality work, and maintains high standards of conduct that each employee and volunteer actively participate in the maintaining of vigilant adherence to. This includes, but is not limited to, no individual having secrets with members, fully cooperating with authorities if allegations of abuse are being investigated, and ensuring that no one will engage in any activity with a member or members behind closed doors.
  • 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, everyone has access to this resource: 1-866-607-SAFE (7233) or via email at SafeClub@Praesidiuminc.com.

Boys & Girls Clubs of Skagit County staff and volunteers are mandated reporters, required to notify local authorities immediately with any critical incident or safety concern. Additionally, the organization complies with all federal, state, and local safety laws, including those impacting facilities and vehicles.

Child Safety is embedded in the core values of Boys & Girls Clubs all over the country. Nationally, Boys & Girls Clubs of America has advocated the passage of the U.S. PROTECT Act, which improved background screening systems and access, and has partnered with the FBI and the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children to contribute to the development of safety practices that benefit ALL youth-serving organizations. To learn about Boys & Girls Clubs of America safety policies and actions, please visit their Child Safety Page.

To explore more about what the Boys & Girls Clubs of Skagit County does to ensure our Clubs provide a safe, fun, and positive environment for our kids and teens to engage in new opportunities and build a pathway to a #GreatFuture, please contact Ron McHenry, CEO at 360-419-5244, or Manny Smith, Director of Operations at 360-419-3723.