Kids Are Priority 1 & Protected at the Y

News | Mary Anne Swanstrom | January 8, 2020

children and Y counselors for web

Some might take it for granted that the Y is a safe place for kids. After all, the YMCA has been in the business of developing character and physical fitness in youth for more than 100 years in Huntsville.

Heart of the Valley YMCA makes the safety of children in our care our number one priority, and you could say it is the lens through which every program and procedure is filtered. The Child Abuse Prevention Cabinet is comprised of Program Directors, Executive Directors and staff from every Heart of the Valley YMCA branch, YMCA Camp Cha-La-Kee and early childhood education centers and is the body whose responsibility it is to ensure that the safety of the youth we serve remains in the forefront of our minds.

"We prioritize child abuse prevention and actively strive to lead the YMCA movement regarding child safety measures," said Cece Kratochvil, Human Resources Director and Cabinet Chair.

The cabinet meets regularly to review current policies and procedures to ensure that they are consistent across the Association and are relevant to current trends in the field of child abuse prevention.

To begin the year with child safety top of mind, the cabinet met on January 7 to review the recommendations from Praesidium, a provider of best practices to ensure child safety from sexual abuse, to finalize the accreditation process.  As cabinet members reviewed sample policies and procedures to incorporate into our own Child Abuse Prevention Policy Manual, directors from various youth-serving departments across the Association offered their insights.

The Heart of the Valley YMCA Child Abuse Prevention Cabinet's number one goal always is to ensure the safety of all the youth that come through our doors.  The cabinet is drafting a new  Child Abuse Prevention Policy Manual and expects to receive Praesidium Accreditation this year.

Heart of the Valley YMCA also participates in 5 Days of Action every spring to highlight the importance of and our commitment to child abuse prevention.

Got questions? Email cece.kratochvil@ymcahuntsville.org to learn more about child safety at Heart of the Valley YMCA.

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