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What you need to know about child protection

Seasons change, days get shorter before they get longer, and we celebrate milestones in our lives. The Y is proud to be part of the fabric of life for thousands of individuals who look to us for impact in the areas of child care, youth programs, healthy living and a sense of community. Our YMCA has always believed that our most important asset is the trust that parents place in us to take care of their children.

We are passionate about working with kids to develop their potential, while helping them to learn, grow, and thrive.

Locally, with hundreds of children visiting our branches daily, our staff are trained to be alert. It is our responsibility to ensure the kids in our care are happy and free to learn and grow at every turn. And so we have a child protection policy.

Our YMCA has comprehensive child protection policies and procedures that are reviewed regularly and part of conversations at every staff meeting. Beyond that, it is in the interest of others to know these policies. Together we can be vigilant and look for signs of abuse and neglect.

We as Y staff, members, community members and volunteers need to build on the work we’ve done and develop the three habits in child abuse prevention:

  1. We Know: when we understand the common practices of those who harm you and the best practices to stop them.
  2. We See: when we can recognize the warning signs or behaviors that signal abuse or risk for abuse.
  3. We Respond: when we take action in response to behaviors we recognize as being inappropriate or questionable.

As we see and interact with these three habits and their corresponding images in various ways at our YMCA’s throughout the day, they remind us of our responsibility to safety and what we can do as individuals to protect youth from abuse.

Together, let’s commit to protecting the youth in our YMCA and our communities by practicing the three habits of child abuse protection each day.

Because when we know and understand how abuse happens, see the warning signs, and are prepared to respond quickly to prevent it, we create a culture of child abuse prevention that results in even safer environments for kids to reach their full potential.