YOUTH DROP-IN SAFETY POLICY
The Pride Center of New Jersey (PCNJ) is a community of LGBTQI people committed
to using our resources to promote a safe environment for the social growth of youth.
The primary purpose of this policy for the Youth Drop-In Group is to maintain a safe environment for those youth participating in the PCNJ Youth Drop-In. Compliance with this policy will also protect the PCNJ and its members, who lead our youth, from unfounded charges and legal liability.
If a youth complains of abuse or shows outward signs of abuse, the Adult Advisers must notify Family Health 1-800-843-5437 and Citizen Action at 1-860-331-3937.
Senior adult advisers are to be 21 years of age or older. Junior adult advisers are to be at least 18 years of age. Senior adult advisers cannot date anyone involved in the youth Drop-In. Junior adult advisers cannot date anyone under 16 years of age in the Drop-In.
When the Youth Drop-In Group is in session, there must be another adult present in addition to an adviser. Youth cannot be at the Pride Center without an approved adviser present. The other adult is not an acceptable substitute for an adviser.
AGE OF PARTICIPANTS
Youth must be 20 years of age and under or still in high school to attend. Youth of 11 years of age or under require consent from a Parent/Guardian to attend Drop-Ins.
ALCOHOL, TOBACCO, AND DRUGS
Use or possession of drugs, alcohol, tobacco, and other controlled substances are not allowed on the premises at any time.
ARRIVALS AND DEPARTURES
– Youth, who arrive on their own, may leave on their own.
– A Parent, Guardian, Counselor, or Case Worker who brings youth to the Drop-In, must provide instructions as to whether the youth can leave during or after the Drop-In. These instructions must be followed with no exceptions.
BACKGROUND CHECK FOR ADULT AD VISORS
A board member will perform a computer background check on adult advisers for violent crimes against youth and for registration as a sexual offender. The board will take this information into account when deciding whether or not to accept the Youth Drop-In Adult Adviser. The PCNJ will pay for background checks that will be repeated every year. All information obtained from the background check will be treated as confidential.
There is zero tolerance for bullying, hazing, or discriminatory jokes and comments.
There will be a sign-in sheet at each Drop-In which is to be retained for at least 90 days.
Literature, inappropriate for youth, must be removed from Youth Drop-In space during Drop-In hours.
The Youth Drop-In group must take place within the Pride Center facility. The Pride Center does not permit the Youth Drop-In Group to hold activities outside of the Pride Center facility.
If an adult reasonably suspects that a youth member intends to harm herself or himself (self-harm may include: cutting, burning, anorexia, bulimia, and so forth), the adult member must contact the on-call therapist, Ann Marie Agosta at 732-873-8738 and carry out her recommendations.
There is no sexual contact or activity during Drop-In.
If an adviser is concerned about the potential for suicide for one of the youth, the advisor must notify Acute Psychiatric Services at UMDMJ – phone – (732)-235-5700.
For protection of the youth, adults who are not advisers are not permitted in youth space unless previously approved by Administrator and youth Drop-In Leaders/Members. This includes Parents/Guardians, Pride Center Volunteers, Board Members, PCNJ Members and Non-members.