At the Westport Weston Family YMCA, we stand committed to providing a safe environment for everyone who enters our doors or participates in our programs, most importantly the safety and well-being of children entrusted to our care. We have a series of measures in place to keep kids safe:

  • Conducts daily automatic National Sex Offender Registry screenings on all adult members, program participants, volunteers, guests and staff who are in our database. Additionally, we immediately screen anyone who is entering the building for the first time and is not in our system at that time;
  • Conducts biannual State & County Criminal Record Checks (felony and misdemeanor), Inmate and Criminal Record checks, Arrest and Booking Records checks on all staff regardless of continuous employment;
  • Conducts extensive interviews, employment history, and reference checks prior to hiring staff and program volunteers;
  • Requires 20-30 hours of comprehensive training on child abuse prevention, recognizing and responding to abuse for all childcare, camp, and youth program staff;
  • Requires staff and volunteers to identify, document, and inform supervisors of any allegations or suspicions of child abuse;
  • Requires all staff and volunteers to report any allegations or suspicions of abuse to the proper authorities in accordance with Connecticut law;
  • Prohibits staff and volunteers from being alone with a child where they cannot be observed by others;
  • Prohibits staff and volunteers from contact with children they meet in YMCA programs outside of the YMCA;
  • Prohibits staff and volunteers to leave a child unsupervised;
  • Prohibits staff and volunteers from inappropriate or unwelcome displays of affection toward others or children;
  • Requires staff and volunteers to respect children’s rights to not be touched in ways that make them feel uncomfortable, and their right to say no;
  • Prohibits staff and volunteers from abusing children including physical abuse, verbal abuse, mental abuse, or neglect;
  • Requires staff and volunteers to conduct a visual check of each child each day as they enter the program, noting any fever, bumps, bruises, burns, complaints of illness, etc.;
  • Prohibits staff and volunteers from transporting children in their own vehicles;
  • Prohibits staff and volunteers from release children to anyone other than the authorized parent, guardian, or other adult authorized by the parent or guardian (written parent authorization on file with the YMCA);
  • Requires staff and volunteers to portray a positive role model for youth by maintaining an attitude of respect, loyalty, patience, courtesy, tact, and maturity;
  • Prohibits staff and volunteers from profanity, inappropriate jokes, sharing intimate details of one’s personnel life, and any kind of harassment in the presence of children;
  • Prohibits staff and volunteers from using, possessing, or being under the influence of alcohol or illegal drugs during working hours;
  • Prohibits staff and volunteers from smoking or use of tobacco in the presence of children.

The Westport Weston Family YMCA takes pride in providing safe places for children to grow in skills and self-confidence. As an advocate for child abuse prevention, it’s important to bring awareness to the fact that the potential for abuse occurs around us all frequently. We urge parents to have conversations with their children teaching them about body safety and establishing healthy boundaries. Recognizing warning signs and concerns are important first steps in child abuse prevention.

Learn more about the Y’s child abuse prevention resources and trainings here.