Five days of action at the Y.

Know. See. Respond.

Protecting our children is a foundation of YMCA work and one we take to heart at the YMCA of the Suncoast. April is Child Abuse Prevention Month, and once again we participated in the annual Five Days of Action, which ran from April 15-19, 2024. This is a week-long campaign, which raises awareness and inspires adults to take action to protect children from sexual abuse.  

Know. See. Respond – are the tenants of child abuse prevention highlighted during the Five Days of Action. Knowing about signs of child abuse helps us intervene and respond – thus, helping create safer environments for our children to learn and thrive.  

YMCA of the Suncoast has earned Praesidium Accreditation, which is a “standardized, consistent and objective process that allows organizations to publicly demonstrate their commitment to abuse prevention,” as per the official website. We are one of the first YMCAs in the country to secure this prestigious seal.  

Beth Gettig, Vice President of Youth Development, YMCA of the Suncoast notes this Accreditation is significant on many levels. standardized, consistent, and objective.  

“We have worked hard to ensure that our Y has policies, procedures, and best practices to keep our children safe and to have a culture of safety. Being accredited through Praesidium tells everyone that it is important to us to protect those in our care and that we as an organization are committed to ensuring we have appropriate practices which in return demonstrates we meet the highest standards in abuse prevention.”

“We went through an extensive process starting with a self-assessment to identify the standards we already met and/or the ones we needed to take a deeper dive into and begin making organizational changes to implement. Once we worked through those steps, a team from Praesidium conducted a site visit to interview staff, review records, do building inspections and program observations to ensure the implementation of the Praesidium standards,” adds Beth, who has been with the Association for 28 years.

Praesidium’s certification program is designed to proactively teach and share research-based resources to help staff continue to successfully manage high-risk activities and identify abuse before it occurs. We now have four Certified Praesidium Guardians with more staff training slated for the future.  

Click here to learn more about Five Days of Action. Please consider donating to the YMCA of the Suncoast programs.


Published Wednesday, April 24, 2024.

Locations: Association Office