Child Abuse Prevention

Child Abuse Prevention

Our Commitment to Child Safety

At the YMCA of Greater Birmingham, we are committed to do everything we can to protect children physically and emotionally.  We create spaces where children feel safe and supported where they can learn, play, make friends, discover who they are and find a place where they belong. This mean we all play a roll in educating ourselves and our community about child abuse prevention.

Did you know?

  • One in ten children will be sexually abused before their 18th birthday
  • 90% of child sexual abuse victims know their abuser
  • Approximately 30% of children who are sexually abused are abused by family members
  • 60% of child sexual abuse victims never tell anyone
  • False reports are rare – Research shows that only 4% to 8% of child sexual abuse reports are fabricated

*Information Provided by Darkness to Light

YMCA Screening Procedures

All YMCA staff receive a thorough screening process which includes background checks, drug tests and Child Abuse and Neglect Clearance through Alabama DHR. In addition, all staff complete annual training that includes recognizing, reporting and preventing child abuse. Review our Staff Code of Conduct.

Members, Guests, Participants
We also screen all members, guests, and program participants against a national sex offender registry to allow us to continue to provide a safe, welcoming environment for every person at the YMCA of Greater Birmingham.

The YMCA of Greater Birmingham requires all volunteers to complete a screening procedure that includes background checks, Child Abuse and Neglect Clearance through Alabama DHR, and training on Child Abuse Prevention.

Parent Resources


As a YMCA and community:

  1. We KNOW when we understand the common practices of those who harm and the best practices to stop them
  2. We SEE when we can recognize the warning signs or behaviors that signal abuse or risk for abuse
  3. We RESPOND when we take action in response to behaviors we recognize as being inappropriate or questionable

Educational Resources:
6 Key Questions a Parent Should Ask of a Camp
Preventing Child Sexual Abuse
Recognizing Abuse and Warning Signs

Reporting Suspected Child Abuse

You don’t need to have proof that abuse is occurring to make a report, only reasonable suspicion. Reasonable suspicion means that you have witnessed maltreatment or boundary violations, either in the child and/or adult, or you have received a disclosure from a child about abuse, neglect, or boundary violations towards them. Child sexual abuse reports should be made to the police and/or state child protective services.

Contact the Darkness to Light Helpline by calling 866-FOR-LIGHT, or texting LIGHT to 741741. Questions will be answered by trained counselors at no charge. *Information Provided by Darkness to Light

All Y team members are recognized as mandated reporters of suspected child abuse under the State of Alabama laws and are therefore required to report any suspicion of abuse against those who participate in programs at the Y.

If you have any questions or concerns, please speak to the Executive Director at your branch or email us at