Preventing Childhood Abuse

The YMCA is committed to Youth Development, serving youth and families in our community through Childcare and Early Learning, Before and After School Enrichment, Summer Camp, Youth Programs and more. The safety and well-being of children in our care is our top priority.

April is Child Abuse Prevention Month, and we're participating in the Five Days of Action campaign to ensure that the community understands how to prevent sexual abuse in children.

How You Can Prevent Child Abuse
Sadly, 90% of childhood sexual abuse is perpetrated by a known person - a relative, teacher, coach, religious leader, etc. And so, it is crucial for all in our community to recognize signs of abuse so that we can take part in preventing it - no matter where it occurs.

As part of the Five Days of Action campaign, we encourage you to know, see and respond to help prevent cases of childhood abuse. READ MORE

How YMCA Staff Help Prevent Child Abuse
As a component of our yearly safety training, all employees learn to recognize signs of child abuse - and how to respond if abuse is reported by a child. Yet, with 60-80% of child abuse cases going unreported, prevention is key.

All YMCA staff are trained to prevent situations that could lead to abuse, and our policies are designed to reduce the risk of abuse.

  1. Rule of Three | YMCA staff are not permitted to be one-on-one with any child in our care. This is known as the Rule of Three or Two plus Me. This ensures that staff are within sight of other teachers or children while interacting with a child. 
  2. Teaching Children | We educate children about appropriate ways to interact with adults and how to respect physical boundaries.
  3. Monitoring Youth | With a rising number of peer-to-peer sexual abuse cases, YMCA staff are trained to monitor spaces where youth may seek out alone time - such as locker rooms.
  4. Engaging without Contact | Staff that will be in direct contact with children are provided with guidelines for interacting with children, including methods for comforting upset children without resorting to physical contact.
  5. No Babysitting | Staff are NOT permitted to engage with YMCA students outside of the Y. That means NO BABYSITTING. We understand that parents trust YMCA employees - but permitting staff to interact with youth beyond our programming can blur important boundaries.
  6. No Social Media | Staff are NOT permitted to engage with YMCA students on Social Media or exchange cell phone numbers.
  7. Praesidium Accreditation | YGBW is embarking on a highly specialized national accreditation process with Praesidium, an organization dedicated to assisting YMCAs in pinpointing areas for improvement to enhance the safety of children who are members, guests and participants in our programs every day!

We are committed safeguarding children - even when they are not present at our facilities. If we all do our part, we can keep children on safe!