Child Abuse Prevention

What the Putnam COUNTY y Does to Protect Children

All new employees and volunteers undergo a background check prior to hiring, and they must provide at least three references. All staff and volunteers must also go through new checks on an annual basis, or if they’re returning to the Y after a six month break or transferring into a licensed program. Our members and guests are also screened through a Raptor system daily that integrates with The National Sex Offender Registry. Read more about Raptor below.

Should any allegation arise, the YMCA will proactively work with the authorities and all parties involved to respond in a prompt, thorough and empathetic manner.

The Putnam County Family YMCA maintains a zero tolerance policy toward child abuse and child endangerment, and staff are to report any questionable behavior they see, or violations of their Employee Code of Conduct.

Comprehensive online and in-person child abuse prevention training is mandatory to all YMCA employees and volunteers, and they are required to refresh their training annually. The goal is to educate on inappropriate conduct, while also teaching the warning signs of abuse

This web-based platform identifies unwanted visitors instantly by scanning driver’s licenses and state-issued ID’s and keeps unwanted guests from entering our YMCA. If a potential threat is identified, the Raptor system will send an instant alert to designated management staff. If necessary, law enforcement will be notified.

To ensure we continuously uphold the highest standards in child safety and protection, we have developed internal teams that routinely audit our operations, and utilize a Know Your Score! assessment tool developed by Praesidium, a consulting firm that specializes in abuse prevention and risk management.

The facts about

Child Sexual Abuse

1 in 10 children

are sexually abused before their 18th birthday.

Children are victims

of 70% of all reported sexual assaults.

60 million adult

survivors of childhood sexual abuse are walking among us; 80 percent never reported their abuse

40% of sexually abused

children are abused by an older or larger child.

False reports are rare.

Research shows that only 4 to 8% of child sexual abuse reports are fabricated.

Sources: Darkness to Light and Praesidium

In 90% of cases

the child knows and trusts the abuser.

Approximately 30%

of children who are sexually abused are abused by family members.

Sources: Darkness to Light and Praesidium

Resources

Talking With Kids

Watch this two-minute video to learn how talking with children is important to protect them from sexual abuse. For more in-depth learning, tools, and practical guidelines to help adults prevent, recognize, and react responsibly to child sexual abuse, take Darkness to Light’s Stewards of Children®.

1 in 10 Children

Watch this two-minute video to learn the facts about child sexual abuse. For more in-depth learning, tools, and practical guidelines to help adults prevent, recognize, and react responsibly to child sexual abuse, take Darkness to Light’s Stewards of Children®.

Consequences of Sexual Abuse

Watch this two-minute video to learn the facts about child sexual abuse. For more in-depth learning, tools, and practical guidelines to help adults prevent, recognize, and react responsibly to child sexual abuse, take Darkness to Light’s Stewards of Children®.

  • Anxiety, chronic stomach pain, or headaches may occur.
  • "Too perfect" behavior, withdrawal, fear, depression, unexplained anger, and rebellion.
  • Nightmares, bed-wetting, falling grades, cruelty to animals, bullying, being bullied, fire setting, runaway, and self-harm of any kind.
  • Sexual behavior and language that are not age-appropriate.
  • Use of alcohol or drugs at an early age.
  • Could have bruising, bleeding, redness and bumps, or scabs around the mouth, genitals, or anus. Urinary tract infections, STDs, and abnormal vaginal or penile discharges can also be signs.

You do not need proof that abuse if occurring to make a report, only reasonable suspicion. Reporting child sexual abuse is key in preventing and intervening in abuse.

If a child discloses abuse to you:

  • Give attention, compassion, and belief.
  • Listen calmly and openly.
  • Don't fill in gaps.
  • Don't ask leading questions about the details.
  • Ask open-ended questions like, "What happened next?"
  • Don't overreact.
  • Say, "I believe you" and "what happened is not your fault.

The Putnam County Family YMCA is participating in the Five Days of Action. The Five Days of Action is a week designed to raise awareness and inspire adults to take action to protect children from sexual abuse. Stay tuned to Facebook for information on this.

Education & training

Protecting Children During a Crisis from Darkness to Light is a 30-minute online training available in both English and Spanish designed to help caregivers navigate through unusual circumstances you might face during times of crisis. Learn how to evaluate current strategies and consider new ones.

Prevent Now! Stewards of Children is a two-hour training designed to educate adults on how to recognize, prevent, and react responsibly to the reality of child sexual abuse, emphasizing child safety is every adult’s responsibility. Our goal is simple: to educate and prepare our community to deal with and prevent child sexual abuse. The training teaches the steps to preventing abuse, recognizing warning signs, and reacting responsibly when abuse occurs.

Prevent Now! meetings are community meetings designed to create awareness and have discussions around the issues of child sexual abuse. Meetings are open to the public and are a great first step for those exploring, getting involved and making change.

Prevention is the answer

The YMCA has partnered with Darkness to Light to bring the Stewards of Children child sexual abuse prevention training to our communities. Stewards of Children is the only evidence-based training available nationally that is proven to increase knowledge and change child protective behavior. Our Y is working with schools, day cares, community organizations, faith groups, and more to train community members to keep our children safe. When adults actively seek to make a difference, a cultural change can occur. We’re working to shift from a norm where child sexual abuse is kept in fear and denial and children are easy targets, to a community where every child is protected through a community of trained and aware adults.

Putnam County Family YMCA is joining with YMCAs from all across the country for Five Days of Action to raise awareness about how to prevent child sexual abuse. 

We want all children to be safe. The safety and protection of children and teens in our care is our primary concern.  Thank you for joining us in raising awareness to keep kids safe!

1 in 10

Children are sexually abused before their 18th birthday.

How to report abuse

We encourage any person who has reasonable cause that a child is being abused should report this info to Praesidium hotline at 1(800) 743-6354.
If they are in immediate danger, call 911

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