Protecting children in our programs is our top priority. YMCA of Silicon Valley provides a safe and nurturing environment for 160,000 children and teens who participate in our programs throughout Silicon Valley. We maintain rigorous procedures and policies related to hiring, training and supervising staff, and caring for children of all ages.

Screening and Hiring – All new hires go through a comprehensive interview process, three reference checks, fingerprinting, a criminal background check, and a sex offender record check.

Training – All staff members complete extensive child abuse prevention training programs and receive education on creating a child-safe environment. Staff members renew training every year.

Volunteers – Volunteers who will have ongoing interactions with children or young adults also complete thorough background checks and receive abuse prevention training.

Policies and Procedures – We maintain rigorous policies and procedures which are enforced at all locations to ensure that children are supervised at all times and no single staff person is every alone with a child. 

Prevention – YMCA of Silicon Valley engages with Praesidium, a team of experts in child abuse prevention, to assess all aspects of our programs and implement best practices.  In addition, our YMCA has regular board oversight of our child protection practices per our Y-USA Charter for Child Protection and Aquatic Safety.

Reporting – If any staff member or volunteer suspects, or becomes aware of, any inappropriate behavior toward a minor, they are to report the incident immediately.

Parents as Partners – We consider parents/guardians as our partners in protecting children. As an ongoing practice, we invite parents to review our written standards and to engage with us in the care and development of their children.