Ensuring Club member safety is fundamental to the mission of the United Boys & Girls Clubs of Santa Barbara County
The Safety and Wellbeing of the 5,000+ Santa Barbara 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 United Boys & Girls Clubs of Santa Barbara 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.
- EQUIPMENT: The United Boys & Girls Clubs of Santa Barbara County focuses on safety when making resource allocations and decisions regarding equipment and other capital expenditures.
- FACILITIES: Club-owned facilities have been renovated or built to maintain clear lines of sight throughout the building.
While the United Boys & Girls Clubs of Santa Barbara 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: The United Boys & Girls Clubs of Santa Barbara County has a Board-led Program & Safety Committee to provide input and guidance on local policies and safety strategies.
- 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. This is updated and reviewed two times per year and reported to the Board.
- 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.
The United Boys & Girls Clubs of Santa Barbara 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: United Boys & Girls Clubs of Santa Barbara 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. Additionally, any misdemeanor conviction involving force or threat of force, crimes involving sexual assault, rape, drugs or controlled substances, or cruelty to animals is a barrier to service.
- CODE OF CONDUCT: The United Boys & Girls Clubs of Santa Barbara 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.
United Boys & Girls Clubs of Santa Barbara 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 United Boys & Girls Clubs of Santa Barbara 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 Great Future, please contact Michael Baker, CEO at 805.681.1315, or Priscilla Hernandez, Vice President of Operations at 805.681.1315.