YMCA Child and Member Protection Practices
At the YMCA Cape Cod, our top priority always is the safety and well-being of our members, program participants, and staff. We are committed to providing the safest possible environment for children and adults using Y facilities, programs, and services. Our YMCA follows a rigorous ongoing process to protect those using our services. Our approach is four-pronged:
1. Screening and Hiring
To do everything possible to ensure the right staff and volunteers are working with participants in our programs, we conduct intensive screening and hiring practices including detailed application forms, a comprehensive interview process conducted by multiple staff, multiple reference checks, and criminal and sexual offender background and record checks.
2. Education and Training
All staff signs an Employee Code of Conduct, which sets clear rules and expectations for behavior. The Y has Zero Tolerance for staff deviating from the Employee Code of Conduct. Employees working with children go through an extensive child abuse prevention program. Child care staff members are mandated to report any suspected abuse. All staff is trained to identify when a fellow employee or volunteer is stretching or breaking the rules and are trained in how to respond and report these violations.
3. Supervision and Management
Supervisors and managers complete additional training to further promote a child safe environment and conduct regular monitoring of spaces within our facility. All Y staff is mandated reporters.
4. Practices and Systems
Our Y strives to create an open environment and encourages feedback from; staff, parents, children and members. Protection practices exist to create a safe environment for all. Examples include a posted cell phone ban in all locker rooms and restrooms, specific locker rooms separating adults and children, additional bus monitors for trips and camp transportation, prohibiting staff to work one-on-one with youth outside the YMCA (i.e. babysitting) and mandatory reporting requiring staff members to report any suspicious activity.
While we put a great deal of thought and effort into implementing a strong Child and Member Protection Plan, perhaps the most important thing we do is to communicate regularly with members. To ensure the safest environment possible, communication and vigilance on all our parts are essential.
Abusers can be parents, caretakers, friends, neighbors, or other youth. It takes everyone’s help to create a safe environment.
Youth Facility Usage
All children 10 years and under must be under direct supervision of a parent or guardian when using the facility. Parent or guardian must be 18 years or older. Children 10 and under must have a parent/guardian on the premises while they are attending a supervised program activity.
When two swimmers are sharing one lane they may split the lane in half, one swimmer staying to the right and the other to the left.
For three or more, swimmers will need to circle swim, going counter clockwise. Please check with a lifeguard so that they can choose compatible swimmers for you to share with.
Please be courteous and cautious of other swimmers.
All swimmers under the age of 18 must be swim tested before entering either pool.
Children 10 and up that have passed swim test may swim without an adult, all others must have an adult (18+) in the water with them at all times.
Parents must stay within an arm’s reach of children under the age of 5.
Only two children under the age of 6 allowed per adult, 4 children max per adult.
We do not allow water wings/ blow up flotation devices. We have bubbles that may be used during open swim, please ask a lifeguard if you need assistance.
Children that wear bubbles do not need to take swim test but they do need an adult in the pool with them.
Shallow Water Swim Test
Swimmers under the age of 18 must be able to touch with head above water OR be able to swim two full lengths of small pool/ shallow water area. Children 10 and up that have passed the swim test may swim without an adult in the water, all others need an adult in the water with them at all times.
The swim test must be completed upon every visit to open swim at the YMCA.
Deep Water Swim Test
Swimmers under the age of 18 must successfully swim 25yds (1 length of the main pool) and tread water for 30 seconds. Children 10 and up that have passed swim test may swim without an adult in the water, all others must have an adult in the water with them at all times.