Biden Foundation Announces ‘Safe To Compete’

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Staff Report

At the Greater Milford Boys & Girls Club’s KidsFest, the Beau Biden Foundation for the Protection of Children announced a new initiative, unique to Delaware called “Safe to Compete.” As part of this initiative, nearly 100 Child ID Kits were made for families – ensuring parents have the information law enforcement needs should their child go missing.

“Safe to Compete” will include a comprehensive pilot program in select Boys & Girls Clubs in Delaware. The pilot initiative will provide background checks for staff and volunteers at Boys & Girls Clubs and conduct trainings for parents, staff and volunteers to better protect the children under their care. Additionally, this initiative will develop Child ID Kits to facilitate early response to child abductions; implement the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children’s online safety program NetSmartz Workshop at Boys & Girls Clubs; and sponsor the Boys & Girls Clubs of Delaware’s teen violence prevention program, Teens Inspired to Act Now (TITAN), to give teens safe alternatives on weekends.

“Beau Biden believed that we can end child abuse by shining a bright light on it and having the courage to discuss and combat it. Through our ‘Safe to Compete’ Delaware Pilot Initiative, we’ll ensure thousands more of Delaware’s kids are in environments free from predators,” said Beau Biden Foundation Executive Director Patty Dailey Lewis. “It’s a tremendous honor to work with partners like the Boys & Girls Club, the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children and the Cal Ripken, Sr. Foundation to continue Beau’s legacy.”

“Providing safe havens to our youth is what the Boys & Girls Clubs of Delaware is known for. For many of our kids, the Club is the only safe place they have to go. We take the responsibility of security for our kids, our staff and our facilities, very seriously,” states George Krupanski, President/CEO, Boys & Girls Clubs of Delaware. “We also recognize the necessity of working together with our community partners in a collective effort to maintain the safety of our Clubs and our communities. Keeping youth in Delaware safe so they have every advantage for a great future, is our hope and goal with this exciting collaborative opportunity,” Krupanski went on to say.

“NCMEC is proud to work with these great organizations to help make the children of Delaware safer,” said Michelle DeLaune, NCMEC senior vice president and COO. “By delivering Child IDs and the Internet safety resources of NetSmartz, we can prepare children to make the right choices when faced with danger online and prepare parents to act quickly if their child is missing. Together we are providing families with tools that will help protect their children.”

The initiative will also partner with Cal Ripken Sr. Foundation, who will provide training for Boys & Girls Clubs of Delaware to bring together youth and law enforcement officers through baseball activities.

“Bringing law enforcement and youth together in a safe and positive environment helps to build trust and respect on both sides,” states Steve Salem, President of the Cal Ripken, Sr. Foundation. “When youth see officers as approachable role models, and officers connect with kids in a relaxed, fun, atmosphere, they build mutual understanding and critical relationships are formed that will contribute to kids making healthy choices in life. We are thrilled to join this initiative and look forwarding to participating with our partners and supporting Delaware youth.”

Through the collective actions of all partners involved, the Beau Biden Foundation’s “Safe To Compete” Delaware Pilot Initiative will help protect approximately 15,000 children from potential interaction with registered sex offenders or persons who have committed a crime, provide parents and staff with the tools and training to address incidents of child abuse or abduction, and provide teens with safe alternatives to risky behavior.

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