BBBS Volunteer Application

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Non-Discrimination Policy

Our participants come to us with a wide range of personal characteristics. We believe that participant eligibility shall be determined without regard to race, color, religion, national origin, gender, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity, veteran status, or disability. 

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Basic Information

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Contact Information

Employer Information

Additional Information

References and Background Check

Previous Experience

Volunteer Experience

Please provide at least three references below including:
  • Your spouse or domestic partner OR a family member if you do not have a spouse, partner, or significant other.
  • Current or former employee or co-worker you have known for at least one year or someone from your school if you are a student
  • A friend or neighbor you have known for at least two years
Spousal/Familial Reference

Professional Reference

Minimum 1 year
Personal Reference

Minimum 2 years
I consent to and understand that:
  1. The references and youth-serving organization(s) I listed may be contacted by mail, telephone, email, or in person;
  2. The information I provided may be used to conduct a background check, to include a search of public domain records, driving records check, juvenile and adult criminal history check (see attached authorization), military records, and other records where required by local, state, or federal law for volunteers working with youth;
  3. I am in no way obligated to perform any volunteer services;
  4. The BBBS agency is not obligated to match me with a youth and may deny my application or close my match at any time, and to protect all participants’ confidentiality, BBBS is not required to disclose reasons for doing so; 
  5. Other BBBS agencies and youth organizations where I have worked or volunteered may be contacted as references;
  6. As part of the enrollment processes, I will be required to provide additional personal information, including completion of an in-person interview;
  7. I understand that the information I provide in the enrollment process will be kept confidential, unless disclosure is required by law.  
  8. I understand that detailed accounts of child abuse or neglect, past or present, will be reported to proper authorities;
  9. I understand that certain relevant information about me will be discussed with the parent/guardian of a child who is a prospective match (this might include demographic information, information relevant to parent/child preferences, and any information relevant to a child’s safety or well-being);  
  10. It is my responsibility to update the agency if any of the information I provide on this application, in my interview, or any other information provided during the enrollment process changes (i.e. address, phone number, auto-insurance, new criminal charges, etc.)
  11. I agree to complete questionnaires throughout my time in the program to evaluate and improve program services;
  12. I agree to timely communication and follow-up with all agency staff as required by the agency.

Pre-Interview Questionnaire

Prior to your in-person interview, please answer the questions below. The information you provide will also help us make a better match for you and assure we can support you during your involvement with our program. Please note that you will have an opportunity to discuss these questions and your responses more thoroughly during your in-person interview.  

Agency Weapons Policy

  1. I agree to store the firearm(s) separately from the ammunition and to keep both locked and inaccessible to the child during the child’s visit to my home.


  1. I agree to not carry a weapon in my vehicle during match meetings.

Release of Information Authorization for Background Check

I, (birth name)
, do hereby authorize the release of any record of conviction(s) that I may have on file with any law enforcement agency to Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northeast Alabama. 
Birth Name
I understand that my volunteer application will not be final and complete until this information has been considered and I have been fully approved for the volunteer assignment.
Date of Birth:
Place of Birth:
State and County
Social Security Number:

By signing this document you give Big Brothers Big Sisters permission to check the following:

  • National Criminal Search
  • National Sex Offender Report
  • Alabama Statewide Search
  • Alabama DHR Child Abuse/Neglect Central Registry Clearance
  • Local Search
  • Social Security
  • Social Trace
  • DMV Records


There will be a fee for volunteers background check. The price of the fee is as follows:


$10.00 for adults

$5.00 for college age students

Free for high school student

Confidentiality and Digital Platform Policies

In order for BBBS of Northeast Alabama to provide a responsible and professional service to clients, it is necessary for volunteers, clients, and parents/guardians of clients to be asked to divulge extensive personal information about themselves and their families.  The agency respects the confidentiality of client and volunteer records and, with the exception of situation 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 the use of client or volunteer’s name in agency publications.


All records are considered the property of the agency, and not of agency workers, or clients, or the volunteers themselves.  In order to provide a service, which is in the best interest of the children served in the program, information from outside sources, including confidential references, must be assessed along with information gained from the clients or volunteers themselves.  Records are not available for review by the clients or volunteers.  Clients and volunteers shall provide at the time of application, a copy of this statement on confidentiality, along with the exceptions which define the limits of confidentiality.  Clients and volunteers shall sign a statement that they have read and understand the agency policy on confidentiality, and that they agree 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 filled out and signed by client or volunteer.


2.       Identifying information regarding clients and volunteers may be used in agency publications of promotional materials if the client or volunteer has given written 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 BBBS of America, may have access to client and volunteer records.  The outside organization shall be required to respect the agency policy on confidentiality.  Outside parties shall be required to use information only for the purpose(s) stated in the approval action 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 the records, the specific purpose for such review and the period of time during which access shall be granted.  Members shall be required to comply with the agency policies on confidentiality and may use the information only for the purpose stated by the approved action of the Board of Directors.  Know violation shall be reported to the Board President.  A violation of the agency’s confidentiality policy by a Board Member shall constitute an adequate cause for removal from office.


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


6.       Information shall be provided to any agency’s legal counsel in the event of litigation of potential litigation involving the agency.  Such information is considered privileged information, and its confidentiality is protected by law.


7.       State law mandates that suspected child abuse be reported to the Department of Human Resources.  All workers are responsible for staying abreast of such reporting requirements in their respective jurisdictions, and shall always comply with mandated procedures.


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

Big Brothers Big Sisters realizes that many staff, board members and participants are active in social media networks (Facebook, My Space, Twitter, Linked In, blogs, etc.). Personal use of social networking sites is typically for communication between peers, including friends and family. The relationships you form with participating youth are that of a mentor and role model, in addition to a friend. Not all social networking sites are designed to support mentoring relationships. Please proceed thoughtfully when inviting or accepting an invitation from a Little to a social networking site. If you have any doubt, please contact your Match Support Specialist or an agency leader and/or postpone your invitation or acceptance. If you choose to participate in a social networking site with a little, or to communicate on a social networking site about a Little, you must adhere to the following guidelines:

1. Child safety must be a top priority at all times.

  • Refrain from sharing the location of a Little, including but not limited to check-ins
  • Avoid sharing information in advance, about agency events and their locations when Littles will be attending.
2. You are responsible for acting as a role model at all times.

  • Use sound judgement with your communication, as you are representing Big Brothers Big Sisters, even if the agency isn't directly connected to the message.
  • Avoid posts that could be perceived as judgmental or offensive to a Little and/or their family.
  • Be aware of postings or links from your page that are inappropriate for minors.
3. Parent/Guardian permission is required.
  • Upon approval, provide the parent/guardian and the agency with your website address and when possible, link your page to the parent/guardian and agency pages.
  • Do not post pictures of a Little online unless written consent from the parent/guardian has been obtained and is on file with the agency.
4. Confidentiality must be maintained at all times.
  • Do not post the last name of a Little or their family, including but not limited to tagging them in a post or photo.
  • Refrain from posting identifying information about a Little (address, phone, school, parent/guardian workplace).
  • Set your page settings on private, so that only people you approve can view your online content.
When in doubt about any aspect of social networking activities, consult with your Match Support Specialist or an agency leader prior to participating. Failure to adhere to these guidelines may result in the termination of your match or disengagement from the agency. 

Virtual Platform

Consent to Share Matching Information

I am aware of the summary of the information about me prepared by Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northeast Alabama, and consent to its disclosure to a potential match mate.  I understand that I will not be identified by name until after the match has been agreed upon.  I give my permission for the matching summary information to be shared with a potential match mate only under the above conditions.  This consent expires one year from the date indicated below, or at the time a match is formalized, whichever comes first.
Agreement to Protect the Confidentiality of Match Information
I agree to keep information discussed with me regarding a potential match mate confidential.  I will not discuss this information with any other person other than the assigned professional staff of the Big Brothers Big Sisters Agency.

Media Consent and Release

I irrevocably consent to any and all uses and displays of my name, image, likeness, appearance, basic biographical information, audio/video recordings, writings, artwork, and the like, in original form or in modified form, in whole or in part, in, on, or in connection with merchandise, advertising, publicity, marketing, fundraising, and the like, in printed or electronic media, of any type, throughout the world at any time by Big Brothers Big Sisters of America and Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northeast AL in their sole discretion, and by any of their affiliates, successors, partners, sponsors, donors, any entities or persons with whom they conduct any public relations, marketing, or fund raising of any type, and any other authorized third parties, without further consent from me, without any royalty, payment, or other compensation to me, and with the release and waiver of any claims, actions, damages, losses, costs, expenses and liability of any kind arising from any such use (the “Released Material”).
In consideration of the mutual promises made herein, and for other good and valuable consideration, the receipt and sufficiency of which I hereby acknowledge, I hereby grant to BBBSA and its affiliates the right to use the Released Material as BBBSA and/or its affiliates may desire, in all media now existing or hereafter created and in all variations and forms including, but not limited to, internal or external publications or productions, informational or recruitment materials, marketing materials, fundraising materials, televised photography and/or recordings, advertisements, Public Service Announcements, and/or online and social media sites. The use of this information shall be at the sole discretion of BBBSA and/or its affiliates.

I further grant to BBBSA and its affiliates the absolute right to use the Released Material in whole or in part, alone or in conjunction with any other image, name, writings or reproduction, in color or otherwise, for art, advertising, business, trade, or any other lawful purpose whatsoever, in perpetuity throughout the world.

I understand and agree that all materials created by BBBSA and/or its affiliates that use the Released Materials are the property of and are owned by BBBSA, and that I cannot authorize their use by any other party.  I further understand that BBBSA may authorize their use by a third party. I hereby irrevocably transfer and assign to BBBSA my entire right, title and interest, if any, in and to the Released Materials and all copyrights in the Released Materials arising in any jurisdiction throughout the world, including the right to register and sue to enforce such copyrights against infringers.

I acknowledge and agree that I have no right to review or approve the Released Materials before they are used by BBBSA and/or its affiliates, and that BBBSA has no liability to me for any editing or alteration of the Released Materials or for any distortion or other effects resulting from BBBSA’s and/or its affiliates’ editing, alteration or use of the Released Materials.  BBBSA has no obligation to use the Released Materials or to exercise any rights given by this Consent and Release Form.

I hereby release BBBSA and its affiliates, employees, and agents, as well as any partner companies, from all claims, demands or liabilities and related financial costs that I may now or hereafter have arising in connection with BBBSA’s exercise of the rights hereby granted, and/or with the appearance or the Released Materials in any publication or production. These include, without limitation, claims for compensation, defamation, or invasion of privacy, or other infringements or violations of personal or property rights of any sort whatsoever.

Child Safety Guidelines and Ground Rules for Volunteers                                                                      

  1. Be consistent and dependable.  Your “Little” must learn to trust you.  Specifically, that means: don’t break dates, or make promises you can’t keep.


  1. Give your “Little” the opportunity to help you and make decisions concerning activities too!  (It makes them feel important and needed). He/She will be proud to help you wash your car, make dinner, and discuss your problems as you discuss his/hers.


  1. Never discuss your “Little’s” situation or problem with the parent - in front of the “Little”.


  1. The Case Manager will give you a copy of your “Little’s” case plan that will contain areas in which your “Little” needs improvement.  Help your “Little” to achieve these goals and give praise along the way.


  1. Always be supportive of the parent - even when you disagree.  Don’t make judgments concerning any family situation.  It is, however, appropriate for the “Big” to correct misbehavior within the context of the relationship; but leave “parenting” to the parent - do not interfere if the parent disciplines the “Little” in your presence.


  1. Don’t try to be: Santa Clause to the child or mother, a taxicab service, a probation officer, a “child saver”, or rehabilitate the parent.


  1. Make a practice of seeing your “Little” at least every other week and a minimum of 4 hours a month as the agency requires.


  1. It is suggested that you not include any outside person on your outing with your “Little,” at least for the first two months of your relationship.  It takes time for the two of you to build a relationship.  But, when it happens, remember that the “Little” trusts you as a confidante.  Never betray that confidence.


  1. Always call the “Little” before you pick him/her up.  Be sure he/she gets the parent’s or guardian’s approval of the date and time of your activity before you hang up.  Try to give your “Little” some idea of what you will be doing so he/she can be appropriately dressed.  Always return your “Little” home at the agreed upon time.  When you cannot, give the parent a call.


  1. Feel free to say no to any and all outlandish requests (e.g. mother asks to borrow money).


  1. Let your staff worker know what problems you encounter, and let staff know the good news too!  Always keep the lines of communication open with the agency. Please make time available for agency to do match support at least once a month. Communication must be kept with child, parent/guardian, and agency in order to keep the match active.


12. No overnight visit should be planned with the "Little".

Volunteer Ground Rules – High School Bigs

1. I understand that seeing my Little Brother/Little Sister consistently is one of the most important things I can do as a Mentor; therefore, I will see my Little one hour per week.
2. If I am unable to attend I will contact agency as soon as possible.
3. I understand that all contact with my Little is restricted to school grounds.
4. I understand that the relationship between my Little and me is a one-to-one relationship.
5. I understand that I might be privy to personal information about my Little and family members which I will keep confidential.
6. I will maintain regular contact with the Big Brothers Big Sisters Mentoring Coordinator by responding to calls and letters.
7. If a problem arises in my match relationship, or if my place of employment, residences, or telephone number changes, I will notify the Big Brothers Big Sisters Agency immediately.
8. I understand that I will be asked to participate in a program evaluation. I will adhere to school procedure for match visits, including verifying my Little’s attendance on match visit days and contacting the school counselor if I am unable to meet with my Little.
Although our focus is on the Little, please, remember that the staff at BBBS is here for you, our volunteers, also. Please, do not hesitate to call us if you have any questions or concerns, no matter how small they may seem to you.

Volunteer Guidelines – High School Bigs

  1. All volunteers should be between the ages of 16 and 18. A 15 year old can be considered if            they have transportation with another student. Volunteers 16 and over should have access        to a car and be a licensed driver or paired with a licensed driver.
  2. All volunteers must adhere to their school’s policy concerning GPA’s and extra curricular            activities to be able to participate in the program. All volunteers must submit a positive              reference from a teacher. All volunteers must have a parent permission slip.

Screening Procedures:
  1. All volunteers must go through an interview process.
  2. Each volunteer must obtain a teacher reference.
  3. Each volunteer must have a permission form signed by a parent or guardian stating that            they fully understand the guidelines and ground rules.
  4. Juvenile background checks are required for high school volunteers.
  5. Other information will be collected as with any other potential volunteer if deemed                      appropriate and necessary by the BBBS staff.
  6. An initial training will be held prior to participation in the program, and other trainings              designed to enhance the partner and “Little” relationship may be offered to the volunteers          during the school year.

Volunteer Requirements:
  1. Volunteers are encouraged to make contact with their “Little” on a weekly basis. At a                    minimum 2 to 4 hours should be spent with the “Little” monthly. All contacts are limited to        school grounds only.
  2. All volunteers are required to keep a “reflections journal”. This will be a journal of their              experiences with their “Little” through the life of the match. The BBBS staff and the high            school sponsor may read these journals.
  3. All volunteers are required to attend the trainings held by the high school sponsor or BBBS        staff. These sessions will normally be held at the school.
  4. All volunteers should contact the high school sponsor in case of an emergency or crisis.

Mentor Contract 

By choosing to participate in Big Brothers Big Sisters, I agree to:
  • Follow all rules and guidelines as outlined by the program coordinator, mentor training, program policies, and this contract
  • Be flexible and provide the necessary support and advice to help my mentee succeed
  • Make a one-year commitment to being matched with my mentee
  • Make at least four hours per month with my mentee
  • Make at least bi-weekly contact with my mentee
  • Obtain parent/guardian permission for all meeting times
  • Be on time for scheduled meetings or call my mentee at least 24 hours beforehand if I am unable to make a meeting
  • Submit monthly meeting times and activities to the program coordinator, and regularly and openly communicate with the program coordinator as requested
  • Inform the program coordinator of any difficulties or areas of concern that may arise in the relationship
  • Keep any information that my mentee tells me confidential except as may cause him or others harm
  • Always obey traffic laws when in the presence of my mentee 
  • Never be in the presence of my mentee when I have or am consuming alcohol, tobacco, or controlled substances
  • Participate in a closure process when that time comes
  • Notify the program coordinator if I have any changes in address, phone number, or employment status
  • Attend specific mentor training sessions
(please initial) I understand that upon match closure, future contact with my mentee is beyond the scope of Big Brothers Big Sisters and may happen only by the mutual consensus of the mentor, the mentee, and the parent/guardian.

Application Acknowledgement

I understand that this is an application for a volunteer opportunity and is not a promise or commitment by Big Brothers Big Sisters.

I certify that all information I have provided or will provide to Big Brothers Big Sisters, including this application, is true, accurate, and complete to the best of my knowledge. I certify that I have and will answer all questions to the best of my ability and that I have not and will not withhold any information that would affect my application for a volunteer position. I understand that information contained in my application will be verified by Big Brothers Big Sisters. I understand that misrepresentations or omissions may be cause for my immediate rejection as an applicant or my termination as a volunteer.

At any time while involved with the Big Brothers Big Sisters program, I agree to immediately inform my Big Brothers Big Sisters contact person of any and all infractions, violations, charges, and convictions related to any civil, domestic, or criminal matters.  I understand that BBBS staff needs to be fully informed to provide the best guidance or support possible.  

Assumption of Risk and Release of Liability Relating to Coronavirus/COVID-19

The novel coronavirus, COVID-19, has been declared a worldwide pandemic by the World Health Organization. COVID-19 is extremely contagious and is believed to spread mainly from person-to-person contact. As a result, federal, state, and local governments and federal and state health agencies recommend social distancing.

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northeast AL (BBBSNEAL) has provided the following guidance to match parties in an effort to reduce the spread of COVID-19:

  • ·         Restricted match activities to virtual platforms from March 18, 2020 through May 31, 2020.
  • ·         After May 31, 2020, encouraged match activities at a social distance when possible.
  • ·         After May 31, 2020, discouraged match activities that include additional individuals as well as crowded or populated venues.
  • ·         Strongly discouraged any in person match contact if any party has been in contact with an individual known to have COVID-19 or who is experiencing symptoms such as a fever, dry cough, difficulty breathing, etc.
  • ·         Strongly discouraged in person match contact if any party is a frontline worker who could have been exposed to COVID-19 through their profession.
  • ·         Strongly encourage following the most current CDC guidelines which recommends wearing cloth face coverings in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain.

Even with the above measures in place, BBBSNEAL cannot guarantee that you will not become infected with COVID-19. Further, permitting contact between match parties could increase your risk of contracting COVID-19.   By signing this agreement, I acknowledge the contagious nature of COVID-19 and voluntarily assume the risk that I may be exposed to or infected by COVID-19 by participating in in-person match activities and that such exposure or infection may result in personal injury, illness, and in the worst case could cause death. This is more prevalent in venerable populations with underlying complications. I understand that the risk of becoming exposed to or infected by COVID-19 may result from the actions, omissions, or negligence of myself and others, including, but not limited to, BBBSNEAL employees, volunteers, and program participants and their families. Therefore I voluntarily agree to assume all of the foregoing risks and accept sole responsibility for any injury to myself (including, but not limited to, personal injury, disability, and death), illness, damage, loss, claim, liability, or expense, of any kind, that I may experience or incur in connection with my participation in BBBSNEAL program activities. The decision to re-engage in in-person meetings is my decision, not the decision of BBBSNEAL.