Child Protection | West Suburban YMCA

Youth Development

Our Commitment to Child Protection and Safety

We are proud and respectful of the trust parents place in our YMCA. A safe environment for children combined with quality programming is an important part of our focus on youth development. Our core values of caring, honesty, respect and responsibility are part of everything we do. We place great value on providing the most child-safe environment possible and creating an atmosphere where children can grow and thrive.

We take the following steps to keep children in our camps and programs safe:

  • Detailed employment application forms.

  • Comprehensive reference checks that include standardized questions that assess risk for abuse.

  • Criminal Offender Record Information (CORI) check & Sexual Offender Registry Information (SORI) check.

  • All staff complete an extensive Child Abuse Prevention Training Program.

  • Our camps are American Camp Association (ACA) accredited and are licensed and comply with all Department of Public Health regulations.

  • Supervisors complete additional training to further promote a child safe environment.

  • We swim evaluate all new swimmers at the start of each session. We provide floatation devices to campers who require them.

  • All swimmers must pass a deep end test before they are allowed to move beyond shallow water.

  • Our pools and waterfront properties are always guarded by certified lifeguards during camp hours.

  • Counselors perform face counts and take attendance numerous times throughout the day and at every transition.

  • We are diligent with sunblock application numerous times throughout the day.

  • Campers are only released to authorized adults who are required to show a government issued photo ID or provide a secure PIN number at pick-up.

  • Staff and volunteers are mandated to report any suspected child abuse.

  • Staff are prohibited from working 1-on-1 with or contacting youth outside of the Y (including babysitting and social networking).

  • Policies exist to ensure staff & volunteers are not alone with a child. All interaction between a staff and child must be observable and interruptible.

  • Employees who are trained in abuse prevention are more likely to understand their role as protector, to recognize the signs that abuse is occurring, and to report suspicious or inappropriate behaviors. Trained staff members are also less likely to place themselves in situations where they could be falsely accused.