SAFETY IS ESSENTIAL TO AN EXCEPTIONAL CLUB EXPERIENCE By Mitru Ciarlante
afety – that is, providing a positive environment and a safe, structured setting – is a critical component for delivering a high-quality Boys & Girls Club Experience. Club safety itself is multi-dimensional. It encompasses physical and emotional safety, as well as risk reduction, and emphasizes safe relationships and safe environments. Therefore, it is a core part of Club members’ well-being. Through the National Youth Outcomes Initiative (NYOI) annual member survey, Boys & Girls Clubs of America has found member perception of physical safety to be the most predictive measure of a favorable Club Experience and affirmative outcomes across age groups. In other words, young people who feel their Club is physically safe are also most likely to achieve the desired outcomes in our highpriority areas. And striving for great youth outcomes is what drives Boys & Girls Clubs to apply a continuous improvement cycle to Club safety. This means that you review your safety data from the NYOI, Online Safety Assessment and incident reports; create a Safety Improvement Plan and embed it in your organizational plan; act to carry out the plan; and repeat by continuing to assess strategies and adjust them as needed.
How a Safety Improvement Plan Might Include Both Facility Improvements and Behavioral Solutions
Unknown people can enter Club because front desk is too far from entrance.
Install front door camera and buzzer.
Door remains locked and staffed by greeters or unarmed security during operations.
Harassment in bathrooms.
Build single-stall bathrooms.
Launch bathroom pass and supervision strategy.
Blind spots become hot spots for improper conduct.
Purchase cameras and monitors.
Assess program schedule and member movement between activities.
Increased gym accidents.
Install more padding.
Increase supervision ratio; Coach staff to intervene more quickly for prevention.
Child & Club Safety
Reaching the Summit. National Youth of the Year finalists, a testament to the Club Experience.