Keeping Kids Safe

What the Metropolitan YMCA of the Oranges Does to Protect Children

  • Screening - All employees and volunteers undergo a background check prior to hiring and on an annual basis, and they must provide at least four references. 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
  • Training - 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.
  • Reporting - 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.
  • Raptor - 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.
  • Policy - The Metro 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.

Read our Child Abuse Prevention Policy.

Read our Employee Code of Conduct.

[+] Show All

Warning Signs of Sexual Abuse in 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.

How to Report Abuse:

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."


[+] Show All

The Facts about Child Sexual Abuse

  • 1 in 10 children are sexually abused before their 18th birthday.
  • 42 million adult survivors of childhood sexual abuse are walking among us.
  • In 90% of cases, the child knows and trusts the abuser.
  • Children are victims of 70% of all reported sexual assaults.
  • 40% of sexual abused children are abused by an older or larger child.
  • Survivors of child sexual abuse have a higher likelihood of psychological disorders, excessive drug and alcohol use, eating disorders, suicidal tendencies, and violence.

Talking With Kids (2:16)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xX57AZjsKkc
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®. Visit www.D2L.org/Stewards for more information.

1 in 10 Children (2:19)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0lRIV6ylrj4
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®. Visit www.D2L.org/Stewards for more information.

Consequences of Sexual Abuse (2:17)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D9bEPApPokU
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®. Visit www.D2L.org/Stewards for more information.

Stewards of Children

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.

Learn More

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.

April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month. The Metro YMCA is joining with YMCAs from all across the country for Five Days of Action in April 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!


In New Jersey, any person having reasonable cause to believe that a child has been subjected to abuse or acts of abuse should immediately report this information to the State Central Registry. If the child is in immediate danger, call 911 as well as 1-877 NJ ABUSE (1-877-652-2873). A concerned caller does not need proof to report an allegation of child abuse and can make the report anonymously.

 

For more information, visit d2l.org.

Directions To Camp