Sioux Falls Family YMCA

Child Abuse Prevention

Staff & Volunteer Policy / Awareness

At the Sioux Falls Family YMCA, we practice three important habits of Child Abuse Prevention—KNOW, SEE and RESPOND—to create safe spaces where youth can learn, grow and thrive. When we KNOW how abuse happens, SEE the warning signs and RESPOND quickly to prevent it, together we foster a culture of child abuse prevention. 

  • We KNOW when we understand the behaviors of those who harm youth and how to stop them. Staff and volunteers who practice the KNOW habit:
  • Understand the potential risks for abuse that children and teens face, and their role in protecting them at their Y
  • Understand how predators operate
  • Recognize the importance of proactive engagement when supervising youth
  • Interact appropriately and safely with youth at their Y 
  • Recognize appropriate and inappropriate interactions between adults and youth, and between youth
  • Appreciate the difference they make when they practice the Three Habits in Child Abuse Prevention at their Y 
  • Encourage others to adopt these prevention habits 
  • Can explain what Know, See and Respond means when asked by a parent or community member

We SEE when we can recognize warning signs or behaviors that signal abuse or a risk for abuse. Staff and volunteers who practice the SEE habit: 

  • Interrupt inappropriate interactions between adults and youth, and between youth
  • Respect children and teen’s emotional, psychological and physical boundaries—according to the YMCA’s policies— and ensure that others also follow the policies
  • Notice and help when staff or volunteers need assistance with a child’s behavior
  • Act when something seems wrong  and if they observe others not practicing the prevention habits

We RESPOND when we take action to stop behaviors we recognize as being inappropriate or questionable. Staff and volunteers who practice the RESPOND habit:

  • Act when children or others need help
  • Interrupt questionable behavior by a staff member, volunteer or youth
  • Notify the appropriate people at their Y when they have a concern 
  • Can make a report to child protective services and/or police when they suspect child abuse 

More Information
If you have any questions about our Child Abuse Prevention practices or Know, See and Respond, please feel free to contact Sandy Herkenhoff, Human Resources Director, at 336-3190.