The Boys & Girls Clubs of Schenectady
Safety Comes First
Keeping Children & Youth Safe
The Boys & Girls Clubs of Schenectady is dedicated to upholding the highest level of professionalism and safety for our members. The Club provides a positive, safe environment for all kids and families. Through trainings, programming, policies and procedures- including an in depth Crisis Management Plan- the Boys & Girls Clubs of Schenectady works tirelessly to protect the young people in our care. If you have a concern about the safety or well-being of a child, or if you would like to report suspicious or inappropriate behavior by an adult, Club staff or volunteer please take a moment to let us know by clicking here.
The Boys & Girls Clubs of Schenectady follows Boys & Girls Clubs of America’s National Child Safety Standards to ensure every Club environment is structured to protect all Club members. In addition, the Club does regular safety assessments of each local clubhouse and completes regular reviews of the Club’s safety and crisis procedures. Boys & Girls Clubs has also engaged local partners such as the Schenectady County Department of Social Services, Schenectady County Office of Community Services (Mental Health), Schenectady County Probation, the Schenectady County Sheriff’s Department and the City of Schenectady Police Department.
For every staff/volunteer applicant, the Club completes a comprehensive screening before their involvement in any Club program. These background checks are provided by Commercial Investigations and The NYS Office of Children and Family Services. These checks 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 Abuse
Club staff are regularly trained to recognize the early signs that put children at risk for inappropriate interactions with other adults or kids. Club staff receive training in this area throughout their employment with Boys & Girls Clubs to ensure they remain current in this critically important area of child safety.
The Club works hard with partners to introduce programming and training to help address bullying. In addition to these efforts, 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 Boys & Girls Clubs of Schenectady Clubs.
Mental Health, Drug and Alcohol Concerns
The Boys & Girls Clubs of Schenectady has been a leader in helping address the many needs our members face regarding mental well-being and the prevention of multiple destructive behaviors including drugs and alcohol consumption. In addition to multiple trainings regarding trauma and mental health first aid, both of which staff receive regular trainings, the Boys & Girls Club runs multiple sessions of SMART Moves which tackles head on the issues of drug and alcohol prevention for young people. Since 2016 the Club has had a partnership with the NYS Legislature and the NYS Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services to work with the youth identified as most at-risk to employ a comprehensive safety net program that encompasses mental well-being and substance abuse prevention. In addition to this, the Boys & Girls Clubs of Schenectady has a Certified School Counselor on staff who works specifically with the young people in the organization displaying the most need for one-on-one or small group services. The Club also offers the MVP HealthCare Wellness program at all sights that teaches young people how to stay calm and regulate while experiencing stressful situations in their lives.
Club staff receive on-going training regarding best practices to actively and safely supervise Club programs. Boys & Girls Clubs of Schenectady 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 regular staff meetings and annual trainings held with all staff.