BBBSGC Volunteer Application

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THANK YOU for applying to become a Big! 

Bigs are not saviors or heroes, they are ordinary people willing to help ignite the potential inside every child. We look forward to working with you to make a match that will be the start of a long-lasting friendship between you and your Little.

Volunteers must be 18 years of age or older and live or work in Galveston County and be willing to commit to the program for a minimum of one year.
Basic Information

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Non-Discrimination & Commitment to Inclusion and Diversity Policy

Big Brothers Big Sisters Gulf Coast is committed to the principle of diversity and practices inclusion & non-discrimination, both internally and externally. The agency’s policy and procedures require non-discrimination regardless of race, creed, color, age, religion, sex or gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, national origin, citizenship, marital status, physical or mental health or disability, genetic information or any characteristic protected by law.

All eligibility/acceptance decisions shall be made without regard to race, color, religion, gender, gender identity, marital status, sexual orientation, national origin, age, the presence of a non-related medical condition or disability, or any other characteristic protected by law. 

In addition, it is our policy to provide volunteers, guardians and children with service that is free of unlawful harassment of any kind, including that which is sexual, age-related, or ethnic, and any actions which create an intimidating, hostile or offensive environment. 

File can be a screenshot, PDF, or picture

File can be a screenshot, PDF, or picture

Contact Information

To ensure safety, our process includes a basic screening of other adults living in a volunteer's home. Please list the full name, other names used (maiden, alias, etc.), and birth date of ALL adults 18 year or older living in your home:

Employer Information

Additional Information - Getting to Know You

Previous Experience

Use of Volunteer's Name and Images on Social Media

BBBS requires references for all applicants and will contact the references you provide. Please provide the information below for at least three references but no more than four. 
Spousal/Familial Reference 

A reference from a Spouse/Spousal Equivalent or Significant Other is required. Substitute a family member if no Spouse/Spousal Equivalent or Significant Other.

Professional Reference

Personal Reference

Volunteer Experience

Notice and Authorization for Background Check

I understand that:
  1. The references and youth organizations that I have worked for or been involved with as a volunteer whose information I have provided may be contacted by telephone or email.
  2. My social security number is required both for the application and the criminal background check.
  3. The information I provide will be used to conduct a background check, to include a driving records check, criminal background check, and other records where required by local, state, or federal law for volunteers working with youth. If matched, the information I provided will also be used to conduct an annual criminal background and driving records check. Continued involvement will be based on the criminal background results.
  4. Big Brothers Big Sisters has the right to accept or deny program participants and is not obligated to match me with a youth. Big Brothers Big Sisters is not required to provide me with a reason if I am not accepted or matched with a youth.
  5. As part of the enrollment process, I agree to provide additional personal information to assist Big Brothers Big Sisters in making a recommendation for matching.
  6. Information obtained by BBBS will be used only for the purposes of assessing my suitability to become a volunteer and matching me with a Little Brother or Little Sister.


I hereby authorize and instruct BBBS to procure a report on me, including a criminal background history, which I understand may include, among other information, arrest, conviction, and driving record information. I also authorize and instruct BBBS to verify my Social Security number and to investigate my background and character in any manner they see fit to evaluate my potential as a Big Brother or Big Sister, including obtaining information from medical providers, employers, educational institutions, military agencies, my personal references and any other sources. 

If I become a volunteer for BBBS, I authorize BBBS to repeat these inquiries at any time for as long as I remain a volunteer. I authorize BBBS to disclose relevant information obtained from its investigations to the parent/legal guardian of any child considered as a possible Little Brother or Little Sister to effectively enable the parent to exercise “parental choice” in accepting or denying me as a Big Brother or Big Sister for their child. I authorize and instruct any individual, corporation, and public or private entity having knowledge about me to furnish to BBBS any and all information they may have regarding me. 

I unconditionally release and hold harmless BBBS and its officers, directors, employees, and agents and any party furnishing information to them pursuant to this authorization from any liability, claims, charges, costs, or causes of action which I or my heirs, executors, or assigns may have as a result of the delivery, disclosure, non-disclosure, or omission of any information. I additionally agree to indemnify BBBS and its officers, directors, employees, and agents for any and all attorney fees, court costs, and other expenses resulting from researching my background, gathering information concerning me, or verifying personal information about upon the written request of law enforcement agencies. 

Furthermore, I understand that BBBS holds the right to deny my participation in the program and, for confidentiality, is not required to disclose reasons for doing so.  A photocopy of this authorization may be accepted in lieu of the original.

Request for Central Registry and Criminal History Background Checks Texas Form F-500-2854

Purpose: Representatives of Big Brothers and Big Sisters of America and Children's Advocacy Centers of Texas use this form to request the following background checks for potential and current volunteers, employees, and board members:
  • A criminal history background check from the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS)
  • A child abuse and neglect Central Registry background check from the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS)
Directions: The subject of the background check (VOUNTEER) completes the following sections:
  • Sections 1, 2: Name & Other Personal Information
  • Section 3:  Previous Places of Residence
  • Section 7:  Signatures

The designee (BBBS) must do the following:
  • Make sure the subject of the background check provided complete and accurate information in Sections 1, 2, and 3 and signed and dated Section 7. The designee verifies the information by viewing official documents, provided by the subject of the check, such as a driver's license or Social Security card. 
  • Complete Section 4: Designee.
  • Enter the background check for the subject of the request in the Automated Background Check System (ABCS) for the associated account.
For addition questions, contact Background Checks at the following:
Mail: DFPS Background Checks M/C 121-7; PO BOX 149030, Austin, TX 78714-9030
Fax: 512-339-5831

if no SSN, provide alternate document name and ID number)

List each place you lived outside of Texas within at least the past two years. Provide the complete address and the dates you lived there (continue on the back as needed).

A person is listed in the DFPS Central Registry when all the following occur: 
  • The person has been investigated for child abuse or neglect by Child Protective Services (CPS), Child Care Investigations (CCI), or HHSC Provider Investigations. 
  • The investigation resulted in a disposition of Reason to Believe for CPS and CCI cases or Confirmed and Validated for HHSC Provider Investigations cases and validated for HHSC Provider Investigations cases. 
  • The person is listed as a designated perpetrator or sustained perpetrator.
Cases involving adult victims are not included in the DFPS Central Registry. 

In addition, a person will not clear the Central Registry check if that person is involved as an alleged perpetrator in an open child abuse or neglect investigation being conducted by DFPS. A new Central Registry check may be requested at the end of the investigation to determine whether the person has been listed as a designated perpetrator on the DFPS Central Registry. 

As the subject of this background check request, you have the right to review the results of this check. If the Central Registry identifies you as a person who has been found to have abused or neglected a child, DFPS only sends the results directly to you by mail or email. You have the option to share these findings with the organization listed above (see Section 4).  

The criminal history check from DPS includes all Texas-based arrests and dispositions, including both convictions and cases with unknown dispositions. In some cases, the search produces juvenile criminal history results. 

Information about unknown dispositions may not be current. If the results returned from DPS include an unknown disposition or to dispute the criminal history record, visit the DPS Criminal History Error Resolution webpage for more information on how to update the criminal history record. 

DFPS values your privacy. For more information, read our Privacy and Security Policy.

Only the subject of the background check can sign this form. 

I am the person listed above in Section 1 of this form. The information in this document is correct, and I am a prospective or current volunteer, employee, or board member of the organization listed in Section 4. 

I agree to update the organization of any changes to the information above. 

I give permission to the organization listed in Section 4 to request a Central Registry child abuse and neglect background check and a DPS criminal history background check, as well as any subsequent checks so long as I am active with the organization. 

I authorize DFPS to send the results of this background check via email, and I acknowledge that DFPS cannot guarantee that information sent electronically is secure and accessible only rto approved parties. 

I understand that the information I am providing will be part of any request and that providing false information is a violation of Texas Penal Code Section 37.10. 

By law, any information obtained through DFPS is confidential information and is personal in nature. I understand that I may have access to or may view confidential and sensitive information. I will not disclose confidential information to other people and under no circumstances will I intentionally access confidential information for any purpose other than in the performance of my assigned job duties. 

Confidentiality Policy 



Access to Confidential Records


In order for Big Brothers Big Sisters to provide a responsible and professional service to clients, it is necessary for volunteers, clients and parents or guardians of clients to be asked to divulge extensive personal information about themselves and their families. The agency respects the confidentiality of clients and volunteer records, and, with the exception of situations listed below, shares information about clients and volunteers only among the agency professional staff.


The right to confidentiality applies not only to written records, but also to video, film, pictures or use of any client or volunteer’s name in agency publications. All records are considered the property of the agency and not the agency workers or clients or volunteers themselves. In order to provide a service, which is in the best interest of the children served by the program, information from outside sources, including confidential references, must be assessed along with the information gained from the clients or volunteers themselves. Records are not available for review by the clients or volunteers. Clients and volunteers are provided, at the time of application, this statement on confidentiality along with the exceptions that define the limits of confidentiality. Clients and volunteers shall affirm the Volunteer Agreement to Comply that states he/she has  read and understands the agency policy on confidentiality and agrees to program participation under the guidelines it sets forth.


Limits of Confidentiality


  1. Information will be released to other individuals or organizations only upon presentation of an authorized “Consent to Release Information” form appropriately signed by the client or volunteer. 

  2. Identifying information regarding clients and volunteers may be used in agency publications or promotional materials if the client or volunteer has given permission. 

  3. For purposes of program evaluation, audit or accreditation, and with the prior approval of the Board of Directors, certain outside bodies such as the Big Brothers Big Sisters of America may have access to client and volunteer records. These outside organizations shall be required to use the information only for the purpose(s) stated in the approval action of the Board of Directors. Known violations of agency confidentiality policy will be reported to the supervisor of the individual involved and appropriate disciplinary action shall be requested. 

  4. Members of the Board of Directors have access to client files only upon authorization by formal motion of the Board of Directors. The motion shall state who shall be authorized to review records, the specific purpose for such a review, and the period of time during which access shall be granted. The member shall be required to comply with the agency policies on confidentiality and may use the information only for purposes stated by the approval action of the Board of Directors. Known violations shall be reported to the Board President. A violation of the agency’s confidentiality policy by a Board Member shall constitute adequate cause for removal from office. 

  5. Information shall only be provided to law enforcement officials or the courts pursuant to a valid and enforceable subpoena. 

  6. Information shall be provided to an agency legal counsel in the event of litigation or potential litigation involving the agency. Such information is considered privileged information and law protects its confidentiality. 

  7. State law mandates that suspected child abuse be reported to the appropriate authorities (designated state agency). All workers are responsible for staying abreast of such reporting requirements of their respective jurisdiction and shall always comply with mandated procedures. 

  8. If any agency worker receives information indicating that a client or volunteer may be dangerous to himself or herself, or to others, necessary steps may be taken to protect the appropriate person. This may include a medical referral or a report to local law enforcement authorities.



I have read and understand the above document which states the agency policy with respect to confidentiality of client and volunteer records. I agree to program participation under the conditions it sets forth. I agree to keep information discussed with me regarding a potential (Big Brother/Sister, Little Brother/Sister) match confidential. I will not discuss this information with any person other than the assigned professional staff of the Big Brother Big Sister agency.


By checking below, I attest that I have read the Confidentiality Policy and agree to abide by it in its entirety while volunteering as a Big Brother or Sister. I understand that agreement to abide by this policy shall remain in full force and effect for the entire duration of my volunteer service and that failure to comply with this policy may result in termination of my volunteer status with BBBSGC. 


I understand that all information provided to and obtained by the Agency will be held in the strictest of confidence. The Agency may however, disclose to other agencies and organizations that utilize volunteers the fact that I applied for and/or served with the Agency as a volunteer. 


I authorize this agency to release information about myself from my volunteer application, interview or other screening sources to prospective Little Brothers or Sisters, their parents/guardians and other agencies/schools involved with the child for the purpose of matching and supporting a match once it has been made. 





Gulf Coast Big Brothers Big Sisters  (GCBBBS) recognizes that online social networking (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Blogs, etc.) is a very popular communications tool that many of our Big Brothers/Sisters and Little Brothers/Sisters utilize.


Personal use of social networking sites is typically for communications between peers, including friends and family. GCBBBS wants to reiterate that the role of the Big Brother/Sister is that of a mentor in addition to a friend. Not all social networking sites are designed to support mentoring relationships.


As a condition of being a volunteer, Bigs must read, understand, and sign an agreement to abide by this policy. Failure to adhere to this policy may result in termination of the match.



Proceed thoughtfully when inviting or accepting an invitation to a social networking site. Questions or concerns by a Big or Little regarding an invitation to or acceptance of a social networking site should be directed to the Match Support Specialist (MSS). Information viewed on a Little’s social media site that may endanger their health, safety, and/or welfare is required to be reported to GCBBBS staff immediately.

If a Big chooses to participate in a social networking site with their Little, they must adhere to the following guidelines regarding any postings related to their match or affiliations with GCBBBS:

  1. Make sure that your page settings are set to private, so that only people you approve can view your online content. Ensure that GCBBBS and the parent/guardian are approved if you plan to post content related to your match. Use the official name of our agency (Gulf Coast Big Brothers Big Sisters) and abide by our current branding guidelines.


  1. Be aware of other postings on your page that are not GCBBBS related or are inappropriate for minors. Know that as a GCBBBS volunteer you are a role model at all times. Please ensure that all contents are appropriate and kid-friendly, in case your Little or his/her family were to read your social networking page. 
    • If the social networking site allows, create a separate group for your Little, his/her parent/guardian and GCBBBS staff that limits your Little’s access to your general or universal postings.


  1. Do not participate in any online communication with/about your Little unless you have discussed this with the parent/guardian and have received their approval.
    • Give the parent/guardian and GCBBBS your website address and when possible, link your page to the GCBBBS page on that site so that we can follow along with your postings.
    • Never post any pictures of your Little online unless you have the written consent of the child’s parent/guardian. That consent form should be filed with GCBBBS.
    • Never post anything that could be perceived as judgmental or offensive to your Little or his/her parent/guardian.


  1. Never post any personal information about your Little, his/her parent guardian or GCBBBS staff and board members.
    • Never post the last name of your Little, his/her parent guardian or GCBBBS staff and board members.
    • Never post any contact information for your Little.
    • Never post any identifying information about your Little (i.e.: child’s home address, school the child attends, where the parent works, etc.)


5. Honor confidentiality guidelines within your matchBe cautious when posting detailed information about conversations with your Little, their parent/guardian or with GCBBBS staff.  Posting generalized information or status updates is typically appropriate, but lengthier postings or blogs containing in-depth information should be approved by the parent/guardian and by GCBBBS staff prior to posting.




By checking the box below, I affirm that I have read and understand the policy of Gulf Coast Big Brothers & Big Sisters, Inc., regarding social media and social networking. I agree, that as a condition of volunteering, I will fully adhere to the terms of that policy, and understand that failure to comply with this policy will result in closure of my match and termination of my service as a volunteer. This statement shall remain in full force and effect for the entire duration of my volunteer service with Gulf Coast Big Brothers & Big Sisters, Inc. 

Child Safety Guidelines and Ground Rules for Volunteers                                                                      


Child safety and well-being are our Number One priority and everyone at Big Brothers Big Sisters Gulf Coast (BBBSGC) plays a role in helping keep children safe. We have nationally required standards of excellence based on industry best practice of high quality in service delivery.  Each agency has the primary responsibility for risk management and youth protection in their organizations. This includes the establishment of local policies and procedures that best protect youth, effective screening and selection of staff and volunteers, and professional monitoring of match relationships.

Everyone associated with a Big Brothers Big Sisters program, including professional staff, parents, volunteers, children and board members, is required to be trained in child safety and in recognizing and responding to suspected child abuse.

As part of their safety training, Bigs are required to read and affirm both the Volunteer Child Safety Policy 1.1, along with the following Volunteer Safety & Appropriate Touch Policy 1.2 at the time of Application and to complete a third training,  Safety Policy Guidelines and Ground Rules 1.3 at a later date, with Pre-Match Training.

BIGS AS "MANDATORY REPORTERS": Volunteers are required to report any suspected child abuse and/or neglect to BBBS and to the State of Texas.

Parents as Partners: When it comes to the future of our children and the well-being of our communities, we are all in this together. So it should come as no surprise that we need the parents and guardians of Littles to be involved every step of the way. Parents approve the selection of their child’s Big and remain in close contact with professional staff to look out for their child’s best interests and to help achieve the best possible outcomes for their child. Parents approve all activities and outings between Bigs and Littles and communicate regularly with their child and their Big to help ensure healthy and safe relationship development.

Screening & Selection of Bigs: Making the best possible match between a Little and a Big is critical to the growth and development of a child. But before we begin the matching process, agency professional staff start by thoroughly screening potential Bigs. 

Big Brothers Big Sisters National Standards of Excellence require each volunteer to complete an extensive screening process that includes: 

  1. Completion of a formal written application, 

  2. Background and reference checks, 

  3. An in-person interview,  

  4. An orientation and training process that outlines the individualized needs of the child and provides information and resources on how to encourage that child's development.


PROFESSIONAL MATCH SUPPORT: Our staff are highly qualified, specially trained match support professionals that are responsible for helping to ensure that relationships between Littles and Bigs are developing in a healthy, safe way for everyone involved.


Our ongoing match support process is extensive, and includes: 

  1. Required match supervision by trained staff, including ongoing communication, 

  2. Professional monitoring of adherence to safety-related policies and procedures, 

  3. Nationwide technology that tracks and monitors match activities and Littles’ progress. 




By checking the box below, I affirm that I have read and understand the Child Safety Policy and agree to comply with all requirements of the Policy, including reading and completing the two associated trainings and policies. I also agree to attend future child safety trainings.


I will fully adhere to the terms of the Child Safety Policy and understand that failure to comply will result in closure of my match and termination of my service as a Volunteer. This statement shall remain in full force and effect for the entire duration of my volunteer service with Gulf Coast Big Brothers Big Sisters, Inc. 

I understand my role as a Volunteer with Big Brothers Big Sisters in keeping children safe and agree to abide by the Policy as long as I am in the program.

Child Safety Guidelines and Ground Rules for Volunteers    



These guidelines were developed to help protect volunteers from misinterpretations of physical contact with children. This policy outlines appropriate touches and situations that should be avoided. All program guidelines, policies and procedures are required to be followed at all times. Failure to do so may result in closure of the match.

  1. Appropriate touch should be a response to the child’s need for comforting, encouragement, or affection and is important to developing a sound relationship with youth.

  2. Physical touch should generally be limited to hugs and contact with the child’s hand, shoulder, or upper back. 

  3. At no time should a child or youth, even if fully clothed, be touched on or near the breasts, genitals, or buttocks. Never touch a child in the area which should normally be covered by a bathing suit.

  4. Never force affection on any child. Physical contact should always be with the child’s consent. For example, the approved adult might ask, “May I give you a hug?” 

  5. A child’s verbal or nonverbal “no” should always be respected. If a child pulls away, even with another adult present, respect the child’s wishes at all times. 

  6. Volunteers should never tickle children-it is over stimulating and is considered to be a deceptive device that may lead to more inappropriate touching (i.e. fondling).

  7. Volunteers should never allow a child to stand between their legs when seated. Gently guide the child to your side. You may still speak eye to eye and comfort the child or talk quietly with them at your side when necessary.

  8. Holding children on your lap is not appropriate.

  9. Never kiss a child on the lips. Never let a child kiss you on the lips.

  10. Never take a child into a bathroom alone.


The following actions are considered unduly harsh punishment and are strictly forbidden in all BBBS programs: verbal abuse, rough handling, shoving, hair pulling, shaking, slapping, spanking, biting, pinching, hitting, or requiring a child to do or say anything that is demeaning to their character.





By checking the box below, I affirm that I have read and I understand the policy of GCBBBS regarding appropriate touch and agree to adhere to the guidelines listed above. I also affirm that if anything happens that I believe may put me at risk of accusation by anyone, I will immediately inform the GCBBBS staff. In addition, if I suspect or observe inappropriate touching or other questionable behavior by any individual toward a minor, I have a responsibility to immediately report the incident and will do so.


I will fully adhere to the terms of the policy, and understand that failure to comply with this policy will result in closure of my match and termination of my service as a volunteer. This statement shall remain in full force and effect for the entire duration of my volunteer service with Gulf Coast Big Brothers & Big Sisters, Inc.


I understand this Policy is to protect me as a Volunteer with Big Brothers Big Sisters, in addition to keeping children safe, and agree to abide by the Policy as long as I am in the program.

Firearms and Weapons Guidelines and Attestation



While some adults possess weapons for hunting and/or protection purposes, it is the policy of Big Brothers Big Sisters that all agency Volunteers agree:

  1. To inform BBBS of the ownership of weapons or the presence of weapons in the home.  BBBS staff will discuss the ownership of weapons during the volunteer’s interview and/or home assessment.  For purposes of this policy, “weapons” include all firearms, handguns, zip guns, knives (except for kitchen knives and small pocket knives not used or intended for use as a weapon or to inflict bodily injury) and explosive devices.

  2. To ensure that weapons and ammunition are inaccessible to the child assigned to you by BBBS and to any other child participating in a BBBS activity, while the child is under your supervision.  The means of ensuring the inaccessibility will be discussed during the interview and/or home visit.

  3. To adhere to the policy that a volunteer will not carry a concealed handgun without a concealed handgun weapons permit and prior approval from BBBS at any time while accompanying the child assigned to you by BBBS or accompanying any other child participating in a BBBS activity.

  4. To understand that BBBS will disclose to the parent or guardian of the child assigned to you by BBBS the agency’s weapons policy and the volunteer’s admission of weapon ownership or the presence of a weapon in the home. The parent/guardian and the volunteer will sign an acknowledgment of the ownership of a weapon and the form will be kept in the child’s permanent file.

  5. To obtain written permission from the child’s parent/guardian and from BBBS before engaging in any activity in which a weapon may be used with the child assigned to you by BBBS or with any other child participating in BBBS activities. 

  6. To abide by any other policy or procedure that BBBS may put into effect regarding weapons.

  7. BBBS, along with the State of Texas, requires any child under the age of 18 to participate in a gun safety course prior to using a firearm. We ask that a volunteer provide their BBBS staff member a copy of the completed gun safety course prior to engaging in activities with weapons. 





By my selection below, I attest that either there are no weapons or guns present in my home or if I do possess weapons/guns, they are secured.


If I do possess weapons or guns, by checking the box that appears, I affirm that I understand and agree to abide by the Firearms &  Weapons Policy of Big Brothers Big Sisters. I also affirm and agree to keep any and all weapons and ammunition inaccessible to the child assigned to me by BBBS while he/she is in my custody, unless on a specifically approved match activity, such as hunting trip, a gun safety course, etc.


I agree to fully adhere to the terms of the Policy and understand that failure to comply will result in closure of my match and termination of my service as a volunteer. This statement shall remain in full force and effect for the entire duration of my volunteer service with Gulf Coast Big Brothers & Big Sisters, Inc.