OUR COMMITMENT TO CHILD SAFETY
We are proud and respectful of the trust parents have put into the North Suburban YMCA. Safety is our top priority, and when combined with exceptional youth programming, we believe that we can help all children develop their potential.
Child Abuse is an ever-growing concern, however, the NSYMCA believes that it is one that can be prevented. We have taken the following steps in all of our programming to ensure that we keep children safe:
- Partnered with a leading national organization in Child Abuse Prevention to create comprehensive Child Abuse Prevention Policies and Procedures that are consistently reviewed and up to industry best practices
- Ensure that a thorough pre-employment screening process assesses potential employees for the potential for abuse
- Conduct extensive background checks and sex-offender registry checks on all employees
- All staff complete an extensive Child Abuse Prevention Training annually
- All staff are trained as Mandated Reporters for the State of Illinois and are required to report any suspected child abuse
- Staff are prohibited from working with youth enrolled in our programs outside of Y programming (i.e. babysitting or contacting via social media)
- Upper management has received extensive training in how to keep our Y safe for children
- Parents are encouraged to contact management with any concerns they see in programming
When our staff and families work together, we can prevent child abuse to help our kids grow!
For more information about our Child Abuse Prevention practices, please contact Shannon Mundorf, Senior Director of Arts and Risk Management at [email protected]
INFORMATION ABOUT ABUSE
We want all children to be safe. Unfortunately, child abuse does exist, taking on many forms.
Emotional: Threatening a child or using words that can hurt a child’s feelings and self-esteem, withholding love and support from a child.
Physical: Causing injuries to a child on purpose, such as bruises, burns, scars, broken bones, etc.
Sexual: Having sexual contact in any form with a child, including exposing, fondling, intercourse, pornography, or internet solicitation.
Neglect: Not providing children with enough food, clothing, shelter, medical care, hygiene, supervision, etc.
9 WARNING SIGNS OF CHILD ABUSE:
- Unkempt or malnourished appearance
- Unexplained bruises, welts, or burns
- Disturbed sleeping or eating patterns
- Abrupt changes in behavior, anxiety, clinging, aggressiveness, or withdrawal
- Sexually transmitted diseases and infections
- Discomfort with physical contact
- Fear of a certain person or place
- Fearfulness or depression
- Abuse of other children
WHAT TO DO IF YOU SUSPECT ABUSE?
- TALK regularly to your child about his or her experiences in YMCA programs, school, sports, and other activities.
- DROP IN on your child’s programs.
- TRUST your instincts. Don’t wait to tell us if something seems ‘strange.’ Speak up.
- Learn to recognize and WATCH for warning signs of abuse.
- LISTEN & WATCH for signs of your child receiving special attention that other children or teens are not receiving.
- Periodically ASK your child these questions:
- Is anyone scaring or threatening you?
- Is anyone asking you to keep secrets?
- Has anyone said anything to make you feel bad?
- Is anyone touching you in a way you do not like?
- EDUCATE your child about self-protection, including information about strangers and good and bad touches.
- LEARN to control the stress level of yourself and family members.
- COMMUNICATE with your child and really listen to their concerns.
- RECOGNIZE the fact that most abuse happens by people that children know and trust.
- BECOME AWARE of your community resources.
- KNOW where your children are and who their friends are.
- TEACH your children it’s not okay to keep secrets from you; that they can always tell you the truth.
Other Community Resources
Child Abuse Hotline: 1-800-25-ABUSE (1-800-252-2873)
24/7 Illinois DCFS hotline to report child abuse or neglect
Between Friends: 1-800-603-HELP (1-800-603-4357)
24/7 domestic violence crisis line
Comprehensive Community Based Youth Services (CCBYS): 887-870-2663
24-hour information and referral line for runaway, homeless and at-risk minors ages 11 – 17
Not in crisis, but need someone to talk to?
Illinois Warm Line (866) 359-7953
Peer and family mental health support by phone, weekdays M - F 9 am – 5 pm