CHILD ABUSE PREVENTION
CHILD ABUSE PREVENTION
Help Prevent Child Abuse
At the Y, we believe ALL children deserve the opportunity to discover who they are, and what they can achieve. Every day, we are proud and respectful of the trust parents and communities around the country place in the Y. From youth sports to day and overnight summer camp; from out-of-school time to preschool; our Ys work to ensure your children have a safe, fun filled experience.
At the Y, child protection is our number one priority year-round. During April – Child Abuse Prevention Month – we participate in a week-long campaign— Five Days of Action—to increase awareness of child sexual abuse and empower and equip our communities to prevent it. By taking part in this important campaign and through implementing abuse prevention practices year-round, we can all commit to the safety of all children in our care.
The Know. See. Respond. campaign ties in three impact areas – preventing child sexual abuse at summer camp, in youth sports, and on the internet. The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, U.S. Center for SafeSport and Praesidium have shared resources to support this campaign.
We pledge to protect the children we serve, and hope you will too! Follow the link below to download a printable version of the 2023 Five Days of Action Pledge Card!
Know. See. Respond.
During these Five Days of Action, we introduce the foundational habits of child sexual abuse prevention—Know. See. Respond. When put into practice, they help us create safer environments for children to grow and learn.
Know: Knowing about child sexual abuse can help us better understand what to look for and how to keep it from happening in the first place. For example, did you know that 1 in 10 children in the U.S will be sexually abused before their 18th birthday?
See: When we know the signs of abuse, we can intervene on behalf of children.
Respond: If you suspect abuse, are you ready to respond? Do you know when and how to report suspected child abuse? Follow the link below to find your state’s child protection agency
KNOWing about child sexual abuse can help adults better understand what to look for and how to prevent it. As parents, caregivers, and trusted adults to the young people in our lives, we play an important role in protecting them from abuse. This requires our commitment to continually learn and then ask questions about the safety of our loved ones.
The Y—and other youth serving organizations—implement a series of measures to keep the kids in their care safe. Next time you enroll your loved one in a new program, ask them about their child protection practices. For this summer, you can use this list.
When we SEE boundaries being crossed or suspect a child is being abused, we can and should act quickly. Sports should be safe places for children to grow, both as individuals and athletes. As a parent, caregiver, coach or volunteer, it is up to you to make sure any environment in which children in your care interact is free from abuse. Learn more about the signs and how you can help prevent child sexual abuse in youth sports at uscenterforsafesport.org/
Did you know that you don’t need evidence to report abuse—only reasonable suspicion? But even for adults, reporting abuse is hard. We don’t want to falsely accuse someone or get someone in trouble. On the other hand, reporting might be the one thing that saves a child – or children – from abuse. It is our responsibility to RESPOND to any and all disclosure, discovery or suspicion of child sexual abuse.
As adults and children alike have turned to digital tools for school, work and socialization, online safety matters now more than ever. Many online dangers put children at risk, such as cyber bullying, online enticement and more. As an adult, keeping an open line of communication with any children in your care who may access online content can be key to helping prevent sexual abuse. Learn the facts, how you can keep kids safe, and how to respond to online victimization at missingkids.org/netsmartz.
How We Create Safe Spaces for Children and Teens
As an organization, we have taken the following actions to keep kids safe in our Y facilities, camps and programs and maintain the reputation of safety we have built during our 175-year history.
All Ys in the U.S. are required to implement child sexual abuse prevention practices and policies to remain a member in good standing with the National Council of YMCAs. These requirements include:
Completing a child abuse prevention self-assessment, administered by a Y-USA–approved vendor, at least every two (2) years
Having a policy that requires criminal background checks for staff and volunteers
Providing and requiring training for staff and volunteers on preventing and responding to child abuse
Requiring staff and volunteers to report child abuse in accordance with applicable laws
Having a policy that requires screening all adults against a national sex offender registry and written protocol for how to respond when adults are identified as registered sex offenders
Reporting the following events to Y-USA:
Allegations and/or criminal charges of child abuse, child sexual exploitation, or child sexual misconduct involving a current or former YMCA staff, volunteer, or member (including incidents related to the YMCA and outside of the YMCA)
Allegations of sexual abuse, sexual exploitation, or sexual misconduct between youth participants in attendance at a YMCA and/or enrolled in YMCA activities.
YMCAs have access to resources to assist them in meeting these requirements. Provided by and facilitated by Y-USA, these resources are accessible through Link, our internal knowledge-sharing platform for YMCA staff.
Policy Prohibiting the Abuse or Mistreatment of One Consumer by Another Consumer
The YMCA has zero tolerance for abuse, mistreatment, or sexual activity among consumers within the organization. This organization is committed to providing all consumers with a safe environment and will not tolerate the mistreatment or abuse of one consumer by another consumer. Conduct by consumers that rises to the level of abuse, mistreatment, or sexual activity will result in intervention or disciplinary action, up to and including, dismissal from the program.
In addition, our organization will not tolerate any behavior that is classified under the definition of bullying, and to the extent that such actions are disruptive, the YMCA of Youngstown will take the necessary steps to eliminate such behavior.
Together, we can help prevent child sexual abuse. Take a look at some of these helpful resources from other organizations who share the Y’s commitment to the safety of children.
Educational Videos and Information for Parents & Caregivers by Praesidium
- Abuse Prevention Introduction
- Recognize Abuse and it’s Warning Signs
- How to Talk to Youth About Abuse
- How to Respond to Child Abuse
Online Trainings for Parents & Caregivers by U.S. Center for SafeSport
The U.S. Center for SafeSport produces online abuse awareness and prevention courses.
Click here to access all online training materials. After following the link, click on the “Get Trained Now” button. This will take you to the Learning Management System, where you can create a free account and access the trainings.
Child Sexual Abuse Prevention Online Training by Darkness to Light
Darkness to Light offers training that specializes in the education and prevention of child sexual abuse, other forms of abuse and mandated reporting. Click here to access all online training materials.
The YMCA has partnered with Five Days of Action and Darkness to Light to bring the Stewards of Children child sexual abuse prevention training to our communities. Our Y is working with our staff and our members to keep our children safe. When adults actively seek to make a difference, a cultural change can occur. We’re working to shift from a norm where child sexual abuse is kept in fear and denial and children are easy targets, to a community where every child is protected through a community of trained and aware adults.
April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month. The YMCA Of Youngstown is joining with YMCAs from all across the country for Five Days of Action to raise awareness about how to prevent child sexual abuse.
We want all children to be safe. The safety and protection of children and teens in our care is our primary concern. Thank you for joining us in raising awareness to keep kids safe!
Praesidium Accreditation® publicly demonstrates to consumers that the YMCA of Youngstown has achieved the highest industry standards in abuse prevention.
EDUCATION AND TRAINING
You do not need proof that abuse is occurring to make a report, only reasonable suspicion. Reporting child sexual abuse is key in preventing and intervening in abuse.
If a child discloses abuse to you:
- Give attention, compassion, and belief.
- Listen calmly and openly.
- Don’t fill in gaps.
- Don’t ask leading questions about the details.
- Ask open-ended questions like, “What happened next?”
- Don’t overreact.
- Say, “I believe you” and “what happened is not your fault.”
If you believe someone is being sexually abused at the YMCA of Youngstown, please contact the following people so we can take action:
Beth Scheller, COO, Central Executive Director firstname.lastname@example.org 330-480-5651
Tom Grantonic, Executive Branch Director Davis, email@example.com
Tom Parker, Executive Branch Director Camp Fitch, firstname.lastname@example.org 814-844-6360
Nikki Murray, Day Camp and Youth & Teen Director, email@example.com
Nick Gliha, Youth & Teen Director, Central YMCA firstname.lastname@example.org
330-744-8411 ext 153
Or, contact the Ohio Department of Jobs and Family Services for Mahoning County is 330-941-8888.
The YMCA has partnered with Praesidium for Child Abuse Prevention who has a Y Helpline. Make an anonymous call to the Y Helpline for confidential, expert consultation for your abuse prevention questions and issues. Their phone number is 855-347-0751. You are able to report 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Childhelp National Child Abuse Hotline
Call or text 1.800.4.A.CHILD (1.800.422.4453). Professional crisis counselors are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, in over 170 languages. All calls are confidential. The hotline offers crisis intervention, information, and referrals to thousands of emergency, social service, and support resources.