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Report Abuse Aquatic Incident to YUSA.JP


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?   


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

  • Have a policy that requires criminal background checks for staff and volunteers.  (See guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Praesidium.) 

  • Provide and require training for staff and volunteers on preventing and responding to child abuse.  (See opportunities from Redwoods and 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