Off-site Before and After School Locations
Many YMCAs utilize off-premises sites throughout the community for before and after school programs. The use of these sites requires special care by the YMCA. Many program participants have been injured while attending a YMCA before or after school program. There are several areas of concern that should be addressed to protect the YMCA and to prevent incidents and injuries from occurring at these YMCA controlled sites.
- Be certain that the contract specifically indicates who is responsible for activities and conditions, including parameters for times, locations, and duties. The contract should be reviewed by the YMCA's attorney, as well as forwarded to the Redwoods Group for additional review, prior to signing. Have a full and clear understanding of all aspects of the contract before signing it.
- A survey of the physical premises should be conducted on a daily basis, prior to use. Make certain that all areas of the facility sites that your YMCA program participants will utilize are safe. Items to be considered include playing fields, playground equipment (refer to prior RMA on playground safety), gymnasiums, parking lots, sidewalks, etc.
- Parents should be required to sign-out their child before pick-up from the facility. Make certain that the person who is getting the child is so authorized. The release of a child to an unauthorized person creates a defenseless liability exposure.
- Emergency procedures should be in place. Staff should be competent to handle any situation involving incidents or injuries to program participants. Each staff person should be familiar with the proper response to a fire alarm. Violence prevention should have been previously considered and violence prevention plans should be in place for each specific site and you should coordinate with the facility plan.
- Procedures and protocol to follow if a child has not been picked up at the end of day should be clearly comprehended by all staff. Emergency contact sheets should be complete, accurate, and current. Contingency plans should not include transportation by staff in their personal vehicles.
- An emergency contact and action manual should be on site and familiar to every staff member. It should list both YMCA and other contacts to reach in the event of an emergency.
The above items should be reviewed periodically for appropriateness and applicability by upper YMCA management, and should be addressed regularly with all operational staff. The existence of set procedures prior to an incident will assist staff in controlling any incidents that may arise.
Please call us at 800-463-8546 to discuss this or any other risk management safety tip, or visit our web site at www.redwoodsgroup.com to learn more about YMCA risk management issues.