At the Boys & Girls Club of Pharr and San Juan, child safety and wellbeing is our number one priority. Ensuring child safety is fundamental to the mission of the Boys & Girls Club of Pharr and San Juan. We work every day to create a safe, fun environment so youth and teens can have every opportunity to be successful in life.
Zero Tolerance: We have ZERO tolerance for inappropriate behavior of any kind, including child sexual abuse or misconduct, and we put resources behind that stance.
Culture of Safety: Boys & Girls Club of Pharr and San Juan continually updates 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. We implement layers of safety policies and guidelines to keep our kids safe including:
Safety Policies: The Boys & Girls Club of Pharr and San Juan has comprehensive safety policies in place that protect youth - including, but not limited to, supervision, transportation, and communication and prohibiting private one-on-one contact.
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, Boys & Girls Clubs of the Austin Area members and staff have access to a confidential 24-hour toll-free Child Safety Hotline, 866-607-SAFE(7233) or mail SafeClub@Praesidiuminc.com.
Required Immediate Reporting: Boys & Girls Club of Pharr and San Juan staff and volunteers are all mandated reporters. We are required to report any critical incident/safety concern to local authorities immediately. We are also required to report any critical incident to Boys & Girls Clubs of America within 24 hours.
Onboarding & Mandatory Background Checks:
- Boys & Girls Clubs of Pharr and San Juan requires mandatory criminal background checks every year for every staff and board member. In addition, criminal background checks are required for any volunteer who has direct contact with children.Â All potential employees and volunteers are also run through the First Advantage.
- In addition to background checks, staff onboarding includes Sexual Abuse Prevention Training, First Aid and CPR Training for all staff, and training on safety and security procedures and strategies.
Safety Partnerships: Nationally, Boys & Girls Clubs of America works with leading experts in the areas of safety, security and technology to develop state-of-the-art solutions for Clubs. Partners include:
- National Child Safety Advisory Task Force, made up of leading experts and organizations
- Blue Ribbon Taskforce, comprised of local Club leaders charged with providing input on the safety direction and key safety initiatives
- Mental Health First Aid, a national program that teaches skills to recognize and respond to signs of mental illness and substance abuse
- Crisis Text Line, a confidential text message service for youth in times of crisis
Locally, Boys & Girls Club of Pharr and San Juan partners closely with:
- Pharr Police Department
- San Juan Police Department
- Texas Department of Public Safety
- Center for Child Protection
- School Districts in which our Clubs operate
- And many more partners who help support safety & security for our kids
Safety Trainings: Ongoing training and supervision of staff is critical. We participate in a variety of child safety training measures. We also engage leading third-party safety experts to provide guidance for our policies and approaches, including Praesidium, the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, and the National Childrenâ€™s Advocacy Center. Locally, training includes:
- Bi-annual safety trainings conducted
- Child abuse and neglect training and youth interaction policy training
- Ongoing online and in-person safety trainings and refreshers
Safety Assessments & Audits: We complete a safety assessment each year to ensure we continually make improvements to safety at our Clubs. In addition, we audit Club locations throughout the year to ensure adherence to policies and processes.
- Boys & Girls Club of Pharr and San Juan conducts regular audits at all area locations to ensure adherence to our policies and standards. This includes monthly observations at Club sites
- Boys & Girls Club of Pharr and San Juan Safety Committee meets quarterly to review policies and procedures for the safety of members and staff
Mandatory Employee Reference: Any employee interested in moving to another Boys & Girls Club is required to have a reference from the previous Club, even if the Clubs are within the same community.
State and Local Laws: We comply with federal, state and local safety laws, including those impacting facilities and vehicles.
Nationally, Boys & Girls Clubs of America has advocated the passage of the U.S. PROTECT Act, which improved background screening systems and access. The national organization has also partnered with the FBI, the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children and the Centers for Disease Control to contribute to the development of safety practices that benefit ALL youth-serving organizations.
America's young people deserve nothing less than our constant focus on their safety and our firm commitment to protect every child who is entrusted to our care at Boys & Girls Club of Pharr and San Juan. To learn more about our national safety policies and actions, please visit Boys & Girls Clubs of America's Child Safety page, here.