YMCA CHILD PROTECTION AND AQUATIC SAFETY MEMBERSHIP QUALIFICATION
What is the Child Protection and Aquatic Safety Membership Qualification (also known as the 11th Membership Qualification)?
This membership qualification (commonly called a membership standard) establishes minimum safety practices for YMCAs in the areas of child abuse prevention and aquatic safety. All Y member associations are required to annually confirm adherence to these safety practices to maintain their status as a YMCA. The qualification, which is included in Article II, Section 2 of the National Council Constitution, reads as follows:
(k) Which annually certifies that, notwithstanding its local autonomy, the member association meets child abuse prevention and aquatic safety practices specified by the National Board.
When did the qualification go into effect?
YMCA member association voted to approve the membership qualification in 2017, and it took effect Jan. 1, 2018. In December 2019, the Y-USA National Board approved an update to the qualification to include a reporting component, which takes effect October 1, 2020.
What safety practices are required under the membership qualification?
FOR CHILD PROTECTION:
Effective January 1, 2018
Complete a child abuse prevention self-assessment, administered by a YMCA of the USA-approved vendor, at least every two years. (Praesidium)
Require staff and volunteers to report child abuse in accordance with applicable laws. (See Child Welfare Information Gateway.)
Have a policy that requires screening all members against a national sex offender registry (such as https://www.nsopw.gov/) and written protocol for how to respond when members are identified as registered sex offenders.
Effective October 1, 2020
Member associations must report the following events to Y-USA:
Allegations and/or criminal charges of child abuse, child sexual exploitation, or child sexual misconduct involving a current or former YMCA staff, volunteer, or member (including incidents related to the YMCA and outside the YMCA)
Allegations of sexual abuse, sexual exploitation, or sexual misconduct between youth participants in attendance at a YMCA and/or enrolled in YMCA activities. Child-on-child sexual abuse is differentiated from normative sexual play or anatomical curiosity and exploration as child-on-child sexual abuse is overt, deliberate and a non consensual act (unless otherwise defined in your state).
For YMCAs, visit Y-USA's Child Protection Page