Boys & Girls Club Safety

At Boys & Girls Club of Leflore County, Child Safety is Job No. 1! Ensuring child safety is fundamental to the mission of Boys & Girls Club of Leflore County.

The Safety and Wellbeing of Young People is Our Number One Priority. 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.

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Culture of Safety:

Boys & Girls Club of Leflore 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:
• We background check our staff and volunteers annually.
• We partner with local school officials, police departments, and other stakeholders to ensure the safety of
members.
• We have a board-led safety committee that meets regularly.

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Safety Policies:

Boys & Girls Club of Leflore 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.

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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 Club of Leflore 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.

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Mandatory Background Checks:

Mandatory criminal background checks are required every year for every
staff and board member at Boys & Girls Club of Leflore 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 with Veriscreen Background Services.

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Required Immediate Reporting:

Boys & Girls Club of Leflore 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.

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Mandatory Annual Safety Assessments:

We complete a safety assessment each year to ensure we continually make improvements to safety at our Clubs.

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Safety Trainings:

Ongoing training and supervision of staff is critical. We participate in a wide variety of child safety training conducted such as conferences, webinars, and local advocacy and reporting trainings. 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 Children’s Advocacy Center.

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Safety Committee:

The Boys & Girls Club of Leflore County has a dedicated safety committee to provide input
and guidance on local policies and safety strategies. Priorities and initiatives include:
• Creating the safest environment possible for young people in Leflore County
• Ensuring transparency and reporting in case of injury
• Safety assessment is completed annually for each of our Club sites.

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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.

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State and Local Laws:

We comply with federal, state, and local safety laws, including those impacting facilities and vehicles.

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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 Leflore County partners with:
• Leflore County EMS
• Poteau Police Department

You can also download our Boys & Girls Club Safety Commitment in PDF form here.

The safety of young people at Boys & Girls Clubs is always our top priority. Youth who are mentally and physically safe are better able to learn, grow, and thrive.  Boys & Girls Clubs of America works continuously to enhance safety policies, practices, and trainings to ensure they are centered on youth’s needs. There is nothing more important to us than keeping children safe and protected.

F.A.Q.s

Who benefits from BGCLC?

Everyone! Providing services to the youth of today opens doors for the future. By participating in our programs, youth learn valuable skills that will benefit the community as a whole tomorrow. 

What happens at BGCLC?

At our Club, youth build positive relationships and are able to participate in multiple programs that help them grow as individuals. We offer art, writing, games, dance, game tournaments, STEM, physical fitness, healthy living, and will be adding more programs in the near future.

Is BGCLC a daycare?

Nope! Not even close. Youth are allowed to come and go and we do not require participation although we strongly encourage it and offer incentives.

How do we fund BGCLC?

We are a United Way of the Fort Smith area partner and we receive funds from grants here and there. However, we are primarily funded by donations. This means that we need YOU to help us keep our doors open! 

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You Can Make a Difference.
Give kids a safe place to go after school and during the summer.

We are a proud partner of the United Way of the Fort Smith Area.

Contact Us

Call: (918) 647 7136

Address: 305 Clayton Ave, Poteau, OK, 74953