Statement on Passage of the Child Protection Improvements Act by the American Camp Association, MENTOR: The National Mentoring Partnership, and YMCA of the USA

WASHINGTON, MARCH 26, 2018) – The American Camp Association, MENTOR: The National Mentoring Partnership, and YMCA of the USA are grateful that the Child Protection Improvements Act (CPIA) was passed as part of the recently enacted omnibus spending bill. This bipartisan effort will provide organizations serving children and other vulnerable populations such as the elderly and individuals with disabilities with access to Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) fingerprint background checks to screen prospective volunteers and employees.

Thank you to CPIA sponsors, Representatives Adam Schiff (D-CA) and Mike Bishop (R-MI) in the House, and Senator Orrin Hatch (R-UT) and former Senator Al Franken (D-MN) in the Senate for their unwavering leadership in enacting policy that will positively affect the lives of children across the country. Because of their leadership, families can finally have confidence that the organizations caring for their children have access to the necessary criminal history data of potential staff and volunteers that will better inform their hiring and practice.

Everyone who cares about the safety and well-being of children has an urgent, ongoing responsibility to protect them from abuse. The unfortunate reality is that predators know where and how to gain access to children, and too often they set their sights on youth-serving organizations.

Criminal background checks are an essential part of a multifaceted screening process that includes personal interviews, reference checks, past employment checks, and education verification. Comprehensive criminal background checks can deter those who intend to harm children from even applying for staff and volunteer positions in youth-serving organizations.

Collectively, our organizations serve millions of children each year in afterschool and summer enrichment programs, mentoring programs, youth sports, day camps, overnight camps, and much more. The safety of children is our top priority. While youth-serving organizations like ours have internal child-protection policies and multifaceted staff-screening procedures, too many organizations have lacked access to FBI fingerprint-based background checks. We now have another tool in our toolbox to fully protect children.

We applaud the passage of this critical legislation and look forward to its enactment.

 

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 About ACA

The American Camp Association® (ACA) is a national organization with more than 11,000 individual members and 3,000 member camps.  ACA is committed to collaborating with those who believe in quality camp and outdoor experiences for children, youth, and adults.  ACA provides advocacy and evidence-based education and professional development, and is the only national accrediting body for the organized camp experience.  ACA accredits approximately 2,400 diverse camps nationally.  Accreditation provides public evidence of a camp’s voluntary commitment to the health, safety, and overall well-being of both campers and staff.  For more information, visit www.ACAcamps.org. 

 

About MENTOR: The National Mentoring Partnership

MENTOR: The National Mentoring Partnership is the unifying champion for quality youth mentoring in the United States. MENTOR’s mission is to close the mentoring gap and ensure our nation’s young people have the support they need through quality mentoring relationships to succeed at home, school, and ultimately, work. To achieve this, MENTOR collaborates with its network of Affiliates and works to drive the investment of time and money into high-impact mentoring programs and advance quality mentoring through the development and delivery of standards, cutting-edge research, and state-of-the-art tools. Connect with MENTOR on LinkedIn Opens a new windowTwitter Opens a new windowFacebook Opens a new window and Instagram Opens a new window. 

 

About YMCA of the USA

The Y is one of the nation’s leading nonprofits strengthening communities through youth development, healthy living and social responsibility. Across the U.S., 2,700 Ys engage 22 million men, women and children – regardless of age, income or background – to nurture the potential of children and teens, improve the nation’s health and well-being, and provide opportunities to give back and support neighbors. Anchored in more than 10,000 communities, the Y has the long-standing relationships and physical presence not just to promise, but to deliver, lasting personal and social change. ymca.net

 

Monday, March 26, 2018

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