Child Protection

Know. See. Respond. Together we can foster a culture of child abuse prevention.

At the YMCA, we believe ALL children deserve the opportunity to discover who they are, and what they can achieve. Every day, we are proud and respectful of the TRUST parents and the community place in our YMCA. From Summer Camp, After School programs, Youth Sports, and Teen experiences, our Ys are buzzing with activity to serve youth. We work to ensure your children have a safe, fun-filled experience.

At the Y, child protection is our number one priority. Our goal is to help educate parents and children on how to be safe from child abuse in any environment with the skills they learn at our Y. Our staff and volunteers are trained on comprehensive and innovative practices around child safety to ensure your children are safe in our care. The trust that you, as parents and guardians, place in us to care for your children is important to us and we do not take that trust for granted.

We know that today:

  • 1 in 4 girls and 1 in 6 boys in the U.S. experience sexual abuse by the age of 18. (1)
  • 90 percent of children who are abused know the abuser. (2)
  • There are more than 42 million survivors of child sexual abuse in the U.S. Yet, many child victims may never disclose their abuse. (3)
  • 1 in 5 children is solicited sexually on the Internet before the age of 18. (4)

When adults collectively understand the risks and red flags of child sexual abuse, we can do more to keep kids safe. When we all take action, abuse is preventable.

Additional Resources:

Together, we can keep our children safe and cultivate the values, skills and relationships that lead to positive behaviors, better health and educational achievement. At the YMCA, in order to keep children safe, we require all staff and volunteers to follow a Code of Conduct. We do not allow staff to have outside contact with children we serve at the YMCA. In addition, only authorized staff are allowed to take photos of children in the YMCA. No special attention or gifts are allowed to be given by staff.

Creating Your Family Code of Conduct
Being a Safe Adult: Worksheet for Kids, Worksheet for Adults
5 Steps to Protecting our Children
Body Safety and Boundaries
Checklist for Safer Sleepovers
Information for Parents of Young Children

For more information, visit

Want to learn more? 

Click the links below to watch informative videos:

Introduction Video 
Abuse & Warning Signs Video
Talking to Your Child Video
How to Respond Video

Reporting Abuse

Call the 24-hour Child Abuse Hotline at 800-25-ABUSE (800-252-2873) if you suspect that a child has been harmed or is at risk of being harmed by abuse or neglect. If you believe a child is in immediate danger of harm, call 911 first.

In non-emergency situations, anyone may report suspected child abuse or neglect using the Illinois Department of Children & Family Services Online Reporting System. Click the button below.


  1. ​Finkelhor, D., Hotaling, G., Lewis, I. A., & Smith, C. (1990). Sexual abuse in a national survey of adult men and women: Prevalence, characteristics and risk factors. Child Abuse & Neglect 14, 19-28. doi:10.1016/0145-2134(90)90077-7.

  2. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, Bureau of Justice Statistics, Sexual Assault of Young Children as Reported to Law Enforcement (2000).

  3. National Association of Adult Survivors of Child Abuse.

  4. David Finkelhor, Kimberly J. Mitchell, and Janis Wolak, 2000, Online Victimization: A Report on the Nation’s Youth, National Center for Missing & Exploited Children: Arlington, VA. Darkness 2 Light. Statistics Surrounding Child Sexual Abuse.