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Prevent & Protect

Launched in 2019, the YMCA Prevent and Protect initiative is aimed at lowering instances of child abuse and neglect in the Cayman Islands by empowering youth and adults with knowledge, tools, and safe spaces to share and grow.

 

This process begins with ensuring that all youth are safe within YMCA programmes.  The YMCA of the Cayman Islands follows stringent child protection policies and procedures throughout all youth settings.  We encourage parents and guardians to ask important questions when signing their child/ren up to any programme .

 

During YMCA programmes, youth develop important communication skills through numerous social and emotional learning programmes and workshops. Social and emotional learning is the process through which children and adults acquire and effectively apply the knowledge, attitudes, and skills necessary to understand and manage emotions, set and achieve positive goals, feel and show empathy for others, establish and maintain positive relationships, and make responsible decisions.  Learning these skills at a young age is linked to lowered bullying, drug use, teen pregnancies, school dropout and violence(ref).

 

Island wide, youth aged five to nine years old in the Extended After-School programme have had the opportunity to go through the Zippy’s Friends and Apple’s Friends emotional literacy programme.  The programme, which is provided by the Alex Panton Foundation, covers the modules feelings, communication, friendship, conflict, change and loss, and moving forward  To learn more about this programme in the Cayman Islands please click here (https://alexpantonfoundation.ky/zippy/).

Below are some easy reference questions and answers for YMCA youth programmes.

What is the ratio of adults to children in your programmes?

YMCA programmes are staffed at a ratio of 1 adult staff member for every 8-13 youth at Primary School Age.  All programmes are staffed in a way that no adult will ever be alone with a youth participant.

What sort of child protection training do your staff/volunteers receive?

The YMCA of the Cayman Islands has a leveled child protection training system.  All staff and volunteers are required to complete Level 1 Child Protection Training before working in any programme.  Staff are then additionally required to complete a more extensive Level 2 Child Protection Training along with Darkness to Light training.

What is the recruitment process for your organisation?

All staff go through an interview process and references are duly checked.  Staff and regular volunteers are required to provide a police clearance.

All staff go through an interview process and references are duly checked.  Staff and regular volunteers are required to provide a police clearance.

The YMCA follows a strict ‘rule of 3’ policy.  The rule of 3 means that you have to be with at least two others at all times. Therefore, no child is ever alone with another child or adult.

Does the YMCA recruit volunteers who will work with my child?

The YMCA of the Cayman Islands works closely with numerous volunteers.  All volunteers complete Level 1 Child Protection Training and regular volunteers are required to provide a police clearance.  Volunteers are always accompanied by YMCA staff when working in programmes and are never alone with youth participants.

How does your organisation handle a suspected case of abuse or neglect?

All suspected cases of abuse or neglect are handled with the utmost confidentiality.  Upon suspicion, the YMCA Child Protection Officer is alerted and a report is submitted to the Multi Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH) that day.

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