At the Boys & Girls Clubs of Annapolis & Anne Arundel County, Child Safety is our #1 Priority
Culture of Safety: Boys & Girls Clubs of Annapolis & Anne Arundel County 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:
• Mandatory Background Checks: Mandatory criminal background checks are required every year for every staff and board member at Boys & Girls Clubs of Annapolis & Anne Arundel County. In addition, criminal background checks are required for any volunteer who has direct contact with children. All potential employees and volunteers are also run through the National Sex Offender Registry.
• Required Immediate Reporting: Boys & Girls Clubs of Annapolis & Anne Arundel County 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.
• Mandatory Annual Safety Assessments: We complete a safety assessment each year to ensure we continually make improvements to safety at our Clubs.
• Safety Training: Ongoing training and supervision of staff is critical. We participate in a wide variety of child safety training conducted such as First Aid & CPR, Darkness to Light, Mandatory Reporting, and Active Shooter training. We also engage leading third-party safety experts to provide guidance for our policies and approaches
Safety Policies: Boys & Girls of Annapolis & Anne Arundel County has comprehensive safety policies in place that protect youth – including, but not limited to, supervision, transportation, 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 Annapolis & Anne Arundel County members and staff have access to a confidential 24-hour toll-free Child Safety Hotline, 866-607-SAFE (7233) or email SafeClub@Praesidiuminc.com.
Safety Committee: Boys & Girls Clubs of Annapolis & Anne Arundel County has a dedicated safety committee to provide input and guidance on local policies and safety strategies.
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 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 Clubs of Annapolis & Anne Arundel County partners with:
• Annapolis City Police & Fire Department
• Anne Arundel County Police Department
• Child Protective Services
• Anne Arundel County Crisis Management
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 Clubs of Annapolis & Anne Arundel County. To learn more about our national safety policies and actions, please visit Boys & Girls Clubs of America’s Child Safety page, here.
The Boys & Girls Clubs of Boys & Girls Clubs of Annapolis & Anne Arundel County recognizes that maintaining the safety and security of Club members, staff, volunteers, and Club property is best implemented with a multifaceted approach. Modern technology, including video surveillance, can provide tools to maintain safety and security. While video surveillance does not replace appropriate supervision by Club personnel, it can provide an additional layer of protection. Video surveillance, without or without audio recording capabilities, may be utilized in and around the Club facility, on Club property, and on Club transportation vehicles. Video surveillance shall be in accordance with all applicable laws pertaining to such use.
PLACEMENT AND NOTIFICATION
Video surveillance equipment may be installed in and around Club facilities, property, and vehicles. The system provides constant monitoring 24/7 (is activated and records when motion is detected). Video surveillance equipment will not be used or installed in areas where Club Members, staff, and parents/guardians have a reasonable expectation of privacy, such as locker rooms and restrooms. Video surveillance equipment may always be in operation, whether the Club is operational and whether the facilities or buildings are in use at all. The Club will determine the operation schedule of any video surveillance equipment in its discretion. Video monitors shall not be in an area that enables public viewing. The Club shall notify Club members, parents/guardians, staff, and the public that video surveillance systems are present by signs prominently displayed in appropriate locations throughout the facilities and grounds and provide any other notification or consent as required by applicable law.
ACCESS TO VIDEO IMAGES
The use of video surveillance equipment on Club grounds shall be supervised and controlled by the CEO and Club Directors. The actual recording equipment will be maintained in an area or room that is locked and secure to only be accessed by authorized personnel. Live video monitoring may randomly occur as needed. Video data is recorded and stored digitally. Video recording data is considered confidential and secure. Access to live and video recorded data is strictly limited to the following authorized full-time Boys & Girls Club personnel: CEO, Director of Operations, Director of Safety, and Club Directors. These authorized personnel are trained on the video surveillance policy and how video data should be used during any official investigation. Video recording data may be used as evidence that a Club member, parent/guardian, staff member, volunteer, or other person has engaged in behavior that violates state or local law, policies, and/or Club rules. Video footage is subject to production by a valid subpoena or other court order.
UNAUTHORIZED ACCESS AND/OR DISCLOSURE
Confidentiality and privacy concerns limit the general public, including parents and relatives of Club members, from viewing video recording footage and/or data involving Club members, staff, and volunteers. Only the authorized personnel provided above can view and/or export video recording data. No unauthorized recordings are permitted of video recording data through cell phones, portable devices, or any other means. Any Club personnel who becomes aware of unauthorized disclosure of video recording data from the Club and/or a potential privacy breach must immediately inform the CEO. Club personnel and volunteers are prohibited from unauthorized use of, tampering with or otherwise interfering with video surveillance equipment. Violations will be subject to disciplinary action that may include, but are not limited to, written reprimand, suspension, demotion, or termination of employment. Video recording data will remain the property of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Boys & Girls Clubs of Annapolis & Anne Arundel County and may be reproduced only in accordance with applicable law and board policy.
RETENTION OF DIGITAL IMAGES
Video recording data shall be kept for approximately 30 days except for appropriate still shots or selected portions of the recorded data relating to any incidents under investigation by authorities. The latter shall be retained for one year after the incident or until such time as any legal matters pertaining to the recordings have been resolved. The stored media shall be kept on a secured computer. In situations involving banned parents/guardians, former employers or volunteers, or visitors, stored still images may be shared with Club personnel and appropriate officials.
CLUB MEMBER PRIVACY
Video recording data will not to be used directly or indirectly to identify the activities of individual Club members except as viewed in relation to a specific event or suspected criminal activity; suspected violation of Club policy or rules; incidents where there is reasonable basis to believe a claim may be made against the Club for civil liability; or if otherwise compelled by law. Authorized Club personnel may use a still shot or selected portions of recorded data to request law enforcement review for assessing the security risk of a specific individual or for investigating a potential crime on Club property. A copy of this policy will be shared with any Club member, parent/guardian, or staff member upon request.
Ensuring child safety is fundamental to our mission
We work every day to create a safe, fun environment so kids can have every opportunity to be successful in life. We have ZERO tolerance for inappropriate behavior of any kind, including child sexual abuse or misconduct, and we put resources behind that stance.