We are a KNOW. SEE. RESPOND. Organization
The Greater Philadelphia YMCA serves over 250,000 members. Half of those are under the age of 18. We are the largest provider of Child Care in Pennsylvania. We provide pre-school and school-age childcare at our branches and off-site locations.
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, healthy living, and social responsibility.
Our core values of caring, honesty, respect, and responsibility are a part of everything we do. We place great value on providing the most child-safe environment possible and creating an atmosphere where children grow and thrive.
Creating a child-safe environment.
We take a thorough approach to keeping children in our programs safe. Policies exist to ensure staff & volunteers are not alone with a child. All interaction between a staff member and a child must be observable and interruptible. Staff are prohibited from working 1-on-1 with or contacting youth outside of the Y (including babysitting and social networking). Staff and volunteers are mandated to report any suspected child abuse. All staff complete an extensive Child Abuse Prevention Training Program. Supervisors complete additional training to further promote a child-safe environment. Prevention Policies are in place at all levels of our organization. Please read our staff Code of Conduct. If someone is non-compliant, let us know immediately. Statement of compliance with the Greater Philadelphia YMCA Code of Conduct and Abuse. Criminal background, sex offender, and FBI background checks are conducted. Comprehensive reference checks that include standardized questions that assess risk for abuse. Detailed employment application forms we review/audit periodically.
Not only does the Y focus on the safety of your children in our care, but we also want to provide you with the information to protect your child everywhere.
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.
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.
8 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 & infections
- Discomfort with physical contact
- Fear of a certain person or place
- Fearfulness or depression
Child Safety Resources
For reporting suspected child abuse or neglect:
PA: Department of Human Services 1-800-932-0313
NJ: Department of Children and Families 1-877-652-2873
Childhelp’s National Child Abuse Hotline: 1-800-4-A Child (1-800-422-4453)
24-Hour Stress Hotline
PA: 855-427-2736 | NJ: 800-328-3838
The Children’s Advocacy Center
PA: 800-932-0313 | NJ: 609-265-5889