How WE Keep Boys & Girls Clubs Safe
We are dedicated to upholding the highest level of professionalism and safety. Through the Club's BE Safe Initiative The Club provides a positive, safe environment for all kids and families.
We continue to follow all guidelines set out by Public Health under which our Clubs operate.
Boys & Girls Clubs of Bellevue follows BGCA’s National Child Safety Standards to ensure every Club environment is structured to protect all Club members. In addition, the Club does annual safety assessments of each local clubhouse, provides regular emergency procedure trainings for all staff and completes a bi-annual review of the Club’s safety policies and procedures. Boys & Girls Clubs has also engaged local partners such as the Bellevue Police Department.
For every staff/volunteer applicant, the Club completes a comprehensive screening before their involvement in any Club program. These background checks, provided by Sterling and Washington State Patrol, include local, state-wide and national background checks for criminal history and sex-offender registry. Background screenings are completed regularly for all staff and volunteers.
Prevention of Child Molestation
Club staff are continually trained to recognize the early signs that put children at risk for inappropriate interactions with other adults or kids. Working with a national leader Praesidium, Club staff receive specific training in this area when hired. Updated trainings are completed by all staff throughout their employment with Boys & Girls Clubs to ensure they remain current in this critically important area of child safety.
The Club has established a partnership with the Committee for Children and the Bellevue School District to utilize the same curriculum and training on how to specifically address bullying. In addition to these resources, Club staff also facilitate the SMART Moves Program which provides age-appropriate prevention programming to address issues of self-esteem, positive relationships, and smart decision-making. These programs run consistently in all Bellevue Clubhouses.
Concussion Safety - Tackle Football
Boys & Girls Clubs of Bellevue and the Greater Eastside Jr. Football system have adopted USA Football’s Heads up Program to ensure the risks of concussions are minimized to the fullest extent. The Head’s Up System provides training and instruction in four key areas to ensure a player’s safety:
- All coaches receive annual trainings on how to correctly teach the game’s fundamentals.
- Coaches, players and parents are taught concussion-related protocols; these are reinforced throughout the season.
- Proper tackling technique, endorsed by medical and football experts, is implemented at all playing levels.
- Coaches and parents are taught proper equipment fitting standards. This includes annual reconditioning of helmets and proper sizing for helmets and shoulder pads.
For more information about USA Football’s Heads Up Program click here.
Mental Health, Drug and Alcohol Concerns
For the past 15 years Boys & Girls Clubs of Bellevue has partnered with Youth Eastside Services, one of the leading Eastside agencies focused on mental health and substance dependency. Currently there are three experienced YES Counselors working daily in our Clubs to provide direct support and resources for families who have concerns regarding mental health and/or drug and alcohol concerns.
Club staff receive on-going training regarding best practices to actively and safely supervise Club programs. Boys & Girls Clubs of Bellevue staff are trained to meet specific BGCA guidelines for staff to child ratios based on the program activity (i.e. after-school programs, field trips, teen programming, etc…) Club Staff evaluate these staffing levels as part of the Clubs Commitment to Quality, a national tool designed to ensure the highest quality program supervision.
"I just wanted to let you know that my children attend the Project Learn program at the South Bellevue Community Center, and I couldn’t be happier with the program.
Every time I pick up my children they are smiling and having a great time. The staff are fun, engaging and very professional. I can’t say enough for their efforts.
My son just started Kindergarten this year, and my daughter is in 4th grade, and your staff are absolutely wonderful about making them both feel comfortable. They tell me all about the fun activities they do every day.
As a former employee of the Bellevue School District as a teacher in the afterschool program I know the challenges they face every day, and I want to commend your organization and staff for an absolutely wonderful program.
Thank you so much for your invaluable services. I wouldn’t feel comfortable at work without your help and support."