- Overnight Visits
- Driving a vehicle
while operating a cell phone or any other handheld electronic device
- Use of Alcohol
and Illicit Drugs prior to driving a child
- Non Disclosure of
Firearms at enrollment and throughout the life of the match (see
- Non Disclosure of
Suspected Child Abuse/Neglect (see Reporting Policy/Procedure[ii]
- Safety Belts
- Florida law
requires the use of seat belts or child restraint devices by drivers of
motor vehicles, all front seat passengers, and all children riding in a
vehicle under 18.
- Florida’s safety
belt law is a primary enforcement law, meaning that an officer can stop
a vehicle and issue a citation simply for observing a safety belt or
- Children should
be in the rear seats until at least age 13 since deployed front seat airbags
can be dangerous to children.
- Child Restraints
– Car Seats and Booster Seats
- Florida law
requires children aged 5 and under to be secured properly in a
crash-tested, federally approved child restraint device. Remember to
check for car seat and booster seat recalls.
are prohibited from transporting children
Only assigned and
approved Big should transport Little
- Firearms are prohibited in any vehicle
that is transporting a Little
Approval of all activities
- Limit Setting
through Positive Reinforcement
- Positive limit-setting
strategies will be outlined based on the age of the child and any
developmental concerns (i.e. ADHD, Special Needs, etc.)
punishment, verbally and/or emotionally abusive means of discipline by
Bigs is strictly prohibited and will result in match termination and/or
possible reporting of suspected abuse to Florida’s Child Abuse Hotline –
if deemed appropriate.
Over-Involvement with the Child and/or The Child’s Family
- Gift Buying
should be approved in advance by the parent/guardian with agency staff
notified when a gift of an excessive nature is given to a child
donations or donations for services by the Big to the child’s family
should be discussed and approved by the agency’s match support staff in
- Excessive contact
over the agreed-upon schedule should be discussed with the agency staff
(especially critical in the early stages of a match relationship)
- Involvement of
other children on outings should be discussed in advance with the child’s
Criminal history record check
1. All criminal history
record check is required of all volunteer Bigs, board members, agency staff,
and non-mentoring volunteers who come into meaningful contact with children
2. Volunteer Bigs. Record
checks are required at the time of initial enrollment, while an active Big:
updated, layered criminal history check at least every three years; and at the
time of re-enrollment
3. Potential volunteer
Bigs and volunteers who have been accepted as volunteer Bigs will be disqualified
for failure to complete the application and screening process; past history of
sexual abuse of children; Conviction for any crime in which children were
involved; History of any sexual exploitative behavior, and termination from a
paid or volunteer position caused by misconduct with a child
1. Refer to social
networking site restrictions on communicating/connecting with youth or restrictions
on the creation of youth accounts.
2. Tell the mentor about
anything you post pertaining to your child's mentor and ensure they approve of
3. Communication methods should
be approved by all parties at the match introduction and throughout the match (email,
text, phone, mail, video conferencing, social media, etc.).
4. Online social
networking sites (Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, etc.) are well-known uses of
communication, and many of the volunteers and children are using these sites, however,
not all social networking sites are appropriate for enhancing mentoring
5. Never post the last names
of mentors or children. In addition, do not “tag” your mentors or children in
any picture you post.
6. Never post any contact
information (this includes the home address, place of employment, etc.)
7. Never post anything
(status, pictures, etc.) that could be perceived as judgmental or offensive to the
mentor or child.
8. Make sure that your
page settings are set to private, so you can select who can view your
9. Do not post pictures
that include any other child, Little or Big on your personal page.
10. Guardians, remember to
be observant of your child's page.
11. BBBSPBMC has the right
to view the content and assess all public material on the social networking
sites utilized by prospective or current Bigs and other volunteers.
Inappropriate information or visual material can be cause for non-acceptance or
subject to review for possible match closure by BBBSPBMC.
12. If you have any questions,
please contact your Match Support Specialist and refrain from accepting any
invitation until you discuss your concerns with them.
13. Do not allow children
to use the volunteer’s device.
14. Volunteers should contact
their Match Support Specialist if there are child safety concerns regarding social
media misuse or content that may endanger the Little’s health, safety, or
- Interactions between volunteers and
children will show respect for privacy and personal boundaries.
- Children have the right to always feel safe. Appropriate and positive interactions
between Bigs and Littles are essential in supporting positive youth
development and making youth feel valued.
Conversely, inappropriate, or harmful interactions can potentially
injure a child physically and/or emotionally. Maintaining a balanced approach to
development and monitoring of the match to ensure adherence to agency
ground rules in this area is critical to positive youth development and
- Agency ground rules surrounding volunteer and child interactions
support strategies that help children establish a clear set of personal
safety boundaries promoting skill-building that may prevent the child
from becoming the victim of violence and/or exploitation (bullying, child
sexual abuse, internet exploitation, dating violence, etc.) and/or
encourage a child to disclose abuse or victimization.
- Volunteers are
encouraged to be sensitive to whether a hug or other form of physical
touch would be comfortable to a child or not. School-based mentoring
must abide by the Code of Conduct of the Palm Beach and Martin County
- Certain types of
physical contact such as tickling, wrestling, pinching, patting, or
asking a child to sit on an adult’s lap are more likely to violate a
child’s personal boundaries.
- Display or
discussion of any materials of a sexual nature is strictly prohibited.
- Volunteers need
to provide separate, private areas for a child to: change clothes,
bathe, shower, and/or nap.
should never sleep or nap with a child in the same bed, sleeping bag or
should never come between a parent and their child; volunteers need to
respect a parent’s role and authority.
American Academy of Pediatrics and the Center to Prevent Handgun Violence
recommends the following safeguards if you keep a gun in your home: always keep your gun unloaded and locked
up; lock and store bullets in a separate
location; make sure children don’t have access to the keys; ask police for
advice on safe storage and gun locks; the best way to reduce gun risks is to
remove the gun from the home.. (1996, 2nd Edition, Keep Your Family Safe from
policy requires that any
firearms in the home be disclosed to agency staff prior to the match and be
fully secured. Firearms are prohibited
in any vehicle during transporting of a Little.
Volunteers and parents are
required to communicate openly with agency staff any
concerns for a child’s well-being, up to and including reporting any suspected
child abuse to agency staff immediately.
State law requires mandatory
reporting by case managers. Reports to law enforcement and child
protection authorities will be
handled by agency
professional staff, in
cooperation with the parties involved.
I have read and understand these rules and policies and
understand that failure to comply may result in match termination.