A Letter to our Families

 

Dear Families,

In September 2011, a staff member was arrested by the Mount Vernon Police for inappropriate communication and conduct with Club members.  In April 2012, he pled guilty and was sentenced to 7 ½ years in prison.

Throughout the process, from the time we were notified by the parent making the initial allegation until the time the former staffer was convicted, we cooperated 100% with the Mount Vernon Police department and the Skagit County Prosecuting Attorney.  We provided complete access to all Club files, records, and reports related to the former staffer and the Club members affected.  In addition we made our Club staff and administration available to answer all questions from the local press and other interested parties.

It is difficult to quantify the impact this tragedy had on our organization and our community.  Besides being dedicated youth development professionals, many of our staff, including myself, are parents.  We all have siblings, cousins, nieces and nephews.  This event not only affected us on a professional level, but also had a very personal impact on each and every one of us. 

We recognize that kids are our most precious and valuable asset.  We also recognize that we all have a shared responsibility to protect them from harm.

One of the reasons that Skagit County raises great kids is because of the commitment of our local schools districts and other youth development organizations to work together to keep our kids safe while giving them the tools to succeed academically and socially. 

Since we began offering programs in 1997, the Boys & Girls Clubs of Skagit County has been committed to the highest standards of ethical behavior and integrity.  We do not tolerate inappropriate conduct on the part of Club staff, volunteers, or youth members.

Policies, procedures and national best practices have long been in place for the protection of our Members.  All staff and volunteers must pass an exhaustive process which includes a series of interviews, personal and professional reference checks, fingerprinting, drug tests, and a national criminal background check. 

As we did when this incident happened over a year and a half ago, we will continue to be transparent and cooperative with our families and the communities we serve about the steps we have always taken, and will continue to take, to ensure that our Clubs are a safe and positive place for kids.

You can learn more about our national efforts at ensuring all of our Club members are safe at http://bgca.org/childsafety.

For more information on our proactive approach to the safety of our Members, please contact your local Club or our Administrative Offices.

Thanks for all you do.

David

David Conover
Chief Professional Officer
Boys & Girls Clubs of Skagit County
360-419-3723
dconover@bgcskagit.org

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