Our Commitment to Child Protection
The Waynesboro Area YMCA is dedicated to developing strong children, families and community. We are committed to the Y core values of caring, honest, respect and responsibility
As a youth-serving organization that reaches 8 million children and teens every year, the Y’s most important work is creating safe environments for young people. That any child or teen would experience harm in our care is unacceptable. Ensuring the safety and well-being of young people is foundational to everything we do at the Y to help them learn, grow and thrive.
The safety and well-being of children in the care of Ys across the U.S. is, and always will be, our top priority.
We know that today:
- 1 in 4 girls and 1 in 6 boys in the U.S. experience sexual abuse by the age of 18.
- 90 percent of children who are abused know the abuser.
- There are more than 42 million survivors of child sexual abuse in the U.S. Yet, many child victims may never disclose their abuse.
- 1 in 5 children is solicited sexually on the Internet before the age of 18.
Yet, when adults collectively understand the risks and red flags of child sexual abuse, we can do more to keep kids safe. When we all take action, abuse is preventable.
Our Code of Conduct set forth guidelines that allow for a safe, comfortable place to work and play. We are dedicated to providing an open line of communications with our members and the community. We count on our members, employees and volunteers to let us know if they become aware of any criminal conduct or violations to the YMCA Code of Conduct by contacting us.
Our Employee Code of Conduct
The development of children is the core of which the Y’s values were built. This is why the safety of all children in our care is our number one priority. Staff and volunteers at the Waynesboro Area YMCA follow our Code of Conduct to ensure the safety of all children who come through our doors, whether they’re regular program participants or only visit once a year. In addition to our Code of Conduct, the Y also has a number of safety measures intended to keep kids safe.
=criminal background checks on staff and volunteers
=required staff training on recognizing and preventing abuse
=prohibiting staff/volunteers from being alone with a child where they cannot be observed by others
=limiting staff contact with children outside of Y programs
=reporting any allegations or suspicions of abuse to law enforcement.
Talking to Your Kids About Sexual Abuse
It can be stressful to plan a big safety talk about sexual assault with your kid.
The good news is, you don’t have to.
Conversations about sexual assault can be a part of the safety conversations you’re already having, like knowing when to speak up, how to take care of friends, and listening to your gut.
The key is to start these conversations when your kids are young, and have these conversations often.
RAINN (Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network) is the nation’s largest anti-sexual violence organization and has ideas on how to get started:< click here>
RAINN created and operates the National Sexual Assault Hotline (800.656.HOPE, online.rainn.org y rainn.org/es)
It is important that all parents and caregivers know how to respond to boundary violations and warning signs if children tell you about abuse.
At the Y, we are mandated reporters, so we have procedures in place for responding and reporting suspected abuse.
As a parent, you can follow these five steps:
- Keep your eyes and ears open.
- Talk with your child.
- Ask your child about any concerns you have.
- If what you learn from your child or what you have observed/overheard sounds like abuse, call Child Protective Services or the police.
- If what you’ve heard or observed sounds like a boundary violation, suspicious or inappropriate behavior, or a policy violation:
- Share your concerns with the employee/supervisor/person in charge of the organization.
- If you are unable to do this, make a report to the organization by making a call, sending an email, or submitting an online form.
Teaching children self-protection skills is essential to protect themselves from abuse as well as establish healthy boundaries between themselves and others.
Here are a few resources for parents:
NetSmartz is NCMEC’s (National Center for Missing and Exploited Children) online safety education program. It provides age-appropriate videos and activities to help teach children be safer online with the goal of helping children to become more aware of potential online risks and empowering them to help prevent victimization by making safer choices on- and offline.
Videos for kids and you to start the conversation:
Meet Pantosaurus – our pant-wearing Dino! He wants every child to stay safe and strong, just like him, and he’s on a mission to share an important message.
Consent is like being ruler of your own country…population: YOU. This is a smart, playful guide to consent and bodily autonomy.
Child Welfare Services: Report Child Abuse in Pennsylvania