Child Safeguarding Policies

Our Commitment to Child Safety and Protection

Safeguarding children and young people is our highest priority at the YMCA. We want them to feel safe and be safe at the YMCA, in their families, and in their communities.

YMCAs in Canada have collectively committed to the safety and protection of all children and young people participating in all aspects of our programs. The National Child Safety and Protection Initiative is the YMCA’s coordinated effort for ensuring safety standards in our programs through ongoing policy, training, supervision requirements, reporting protocols, and facility controls.

Child Safeguarding - General Policy Statement

The YMCA of Pictou is fully committed to safeguarding the welfare of all children and young people in its care. The right to be able to enjoy safe environments free from threats, abuse, neglect or exploitation is our service commitment. We work hard to ensure the safeguarding of children and young people is embedded in our culture and at the forefront of everything we do.

If there are concerns about a child or in the case abuse is suspected, please contact our local child protection agency, contact Family and Children Services at (902)755-7363 The Child Safeguarding lead representative at the YMCA of Pictou County is Alisha Raniowski.

If you have any concerns at our location, please email or by phone at (902): 902-601-0456

Inclusion Policy

It is the responsibility of our YMCA Staff and Volunteers to ensure that every child feels valued and that his or her family feels welcome and comfortable.

Our purpose is to enhance each child’s physical, social, emotional and intellectual development. We accomplish this through a YMCA developmentally age-appropriate curriculum called “Playing to Learn”, which is child centered and play based. We will adapt our curriculum to ensure participation by all children. We believe children have a right to quality childcare and value and respect children of all races, religions, cultures and abilities.

Our children’s programming is open to all children and we will accommodate them in the regular program.

We will ensure inclusion in our YMCA child and youth programming by:

1. Administrative Supports

  • Provide good leadership
  • Secure sufficient funding (i.e. apply for Supported Child Care)
  • Provide staff training opportunities
  • Encourage open communication with staff
  • Be responsive to community’s needs
  • Build partnerships with parents
  • Collaboration and mutual respect with outside agencies, (i.e., Early Intervention, Department of Education and Early Childhood Development)

2. Daily Programming

  • By respecting children and ourselves
  • By sharing love and attention
  • By having predictable routines
  • By having a positive attitude
  • By working as a team
  • By providing needed adaptations (i.e. widening the space between tables for ease of movement of a child in a wheelchair.)
  • By using a child centered curriculum called “Playing to Learn” which is child centered and play based.
  • By adapting the curriculum when needed.
  • By following a goal planning process where there is a team effort approach. Parents and other professionals will pay a direct role. The goal once embedded in the program routine will become the child’s Routine Based Plans.

YMCA Vulnerable Adults Policy

The YMCA’s Vulnerable Adult’s Policy aims to ensure the safety and well-being of vulnerable adults participating in YMCA programs.

Vulnerable Adults include any adult who may be unable to protect themselves against significant harm or exploitation due to factors like age, illness, mental health issues, or disability.

Through mandatory Child Safeguarding training all staff and volunteers receive training in how to recognize and respond to signs of abuse or neglect. Training covers legal responsibilities, reporting procedures, and strategies for working with vulnerable adults.

Clear code of conduct procedures outlines appropriate behaviour and interactions between staff, volunteers and vulnerable adults. This includes maintaining professional boundaries, avoiding situations where abuse could occur, and promoting a culture of respect and dignity. Procedures are in place for reporting concerns about the safety or well being of a vulnerable adult.

Vulnerable adults must always be supervised by qualified and trained staff or volunteers. Vulnerable adults should never be left alone. This is a crucial component of safeguarding procedures within the YMCA. This rule aims to protect vulnerable adults from potential harm and ensure their safety and well being

Recruitment processes include criminal record checks, child abuse registry checks, reference checks. Interviews with perspective staff and volunteers must always take place with their support staff and or a family member.

Guidelines for Child and Teen Safety and Abuse Protection: Online / Virtual Communication

Record Retention Policy

The YMCA of Pictou County ensures that there is a complete historical record of all allegations and complaints, which can be crucial for ongoing and future investigations, legal compliance and organizational transparency.

This means that:

· Indefinite Retention: all records related to allegations or complaints of abuse are kept permanently.

· Secure Storage: Records are stored in a secure manner to protect the privacy and confidentiality of all parties involved.

· Access Control; Access to these records is restricted to authorized personnel only, managers, supervisors, child safe guarding lead, CEO

· Regular Review: The policy and its implementation are reviewed periodically to ensure ongoing compliance and effectiveness.


All records shall be managed in a manner that ensures accuracy, accessibility, and protection from unauthorized access or destruction. The policy ensure that the YMCA manages its records efficiently and complies with legal and operational requirements, supporting transparency and accountability in all its activities