Big Brothers Big Sisters 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. 

Hidden Fields

Basic Information

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Contact Information

Employer Information

Additional Information

References and Background Check

Previous Experience

Volunteer Experience
Please include any volunteering in the past 5 years. This will be discussed during your interview as well.

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 (must use spouse/partner if applicable)

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, military records, and other records where required by local, state, or federal law for volunteers working with youth;
  3. I will be required to complete a renewal background check every 3 years, as long as I am a volunteer with BBBS;
  4. I am in no way obligated to perform any volunteer services;
  5. 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; 
  6. Other BBBS agencies and youth organizations where I have worked or volunteered may be contacted as references;
  7. As part of the enrollment processes, I will be required to provide additional personal information, including completion of an in-person interview;
  8. I understand that the information I provide in the enrollment process will be kept confidential, unless disclosure is required by law.  
  9. I understand that detailed accounts of child abuse or neglect, past or present, will be reported to proper authorities;
  10. 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);  
  11. 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.)
  12. I agree to complete questionnaires throughout my time in the program to evaluate and improve program services;
  13. I agree to timely communication and follow-up with all agency staff as required by the agency.
  14. As of January 2022, the State of California requires that all volunteers who work with children go through a training to learn about child abuse and reporting. I will be required to complete an online child safety training in order to volunteer.

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

Firearms and Weapons Statement 

(All volunteers must sign this statement, regardless of whether you own weapons. This is so that you are covered in the event that you acquire weapons in the future and to show that you understand our policies)


I have discussed with the agency staff the issue of safety in relation to my possession and use of a firearm(s) and any other weapons (including, but not limited to: tasers, knives, swords, etc). I am fully aware of the responsibility I hold as a person in charge of a child in my care and agree to safeguard that child to the best of my ability. 

I agree to store all firearms and other weapons in a secured location and to provide appropriate locking devices and storage locations to ensure that a child in the Big Brothers Big Sisters program assigned to me does not have unsupervised nor unauthorized access to or use of said firearms, ammunition, or other weapons. 

I attest that all firearms and weapons in my possession are legally owned, registered, and stored by me and agree that I will notify Big Brothers Big Sisters of any change in the status of the same. I further agree not to allow a child assigned to me by Big Brothers Big Sisters to hold, use or have access to any firearms or other weapons in my possession unless pre-approved by the Parent/Guardian and Match Support Specialist. 

I further agree to notify Big Brothers Big Sisters of any firearms or weapons owned by anyone else residing in my place of residence and agree to treat those firearms for the purpose of this agreement as though they were my own. 

 I understand that failure to abide by this agreement may result in the closure of my match and declaration that I am ineligible for participation in the Big Brothers Big Sisters program. 

Where else have you lived within the past 5 years?

Please provide the name, age, and relationship to you for anyone else residing in your home.

Confidentiality Agreement

Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Greater Sacramento Area, Inc. (“BBBS”) is committed to maintaining the confidentiality of its clients and volunteers.  All client and volunteer information and records are the property of BBBS.  No client, volunteer, or BBBS staff member shall have access to such information, except as authorized by agency policy and procedure.  As such, records are not available for review by clients or volunteers.  All BBBS staff and volunteers shall use reasonable care to provide for the secure storage of all confidential information.   

“Confidential information” includes, but is not limited to: 

Any and all client or volunteer data, including personally identifiable information, such as names, addresses, phone numbers, social security numbers, photographs, digital images, and likeness; any information provided to BBBS by a client or volunteer, including but not limited to electronic information, documents, and software; the financial information of any BBBS client or volunteer; any individually identifiable health information of a client or volunteer, including information related to a physical or mental health condition, or information received from a healthcare provider, healthcare plan, or related entity.   

Confidential information will be shared only on a need to know basis among BBBS staff or pursuant to the following exceptions: 

1. Release of information to third parties upon receipt of signed authorized consent by the volunteer or the client’s parent or legal guardian;  

2. Release of certain identifying information regarding clients and volunteers, such as names, photographs, voice, and/or likeness in BBBS’s publications and promotional material, including online and in print, upon receipt of this form signed by such person(s) or their parent or legal guardian, as this form serves as signed consent;  

3. Release of records for purposes of a Board-approved program evaluation, audit, or accreditation;  

4. Release of records to the Board of Directors upon authorization by formal motion of the Board;  

5. Release of information and records to BBBS’s legal counsel;  

6. Release of applicable information to prospective and active match parties;  

7. Release of applicable information for the purpose of case consultation with Board-authorized professionals;  

8. Release of relevant information in the event BBBS receives information indicating that a client or volunteer may be dangerous to himself/herself or others, in order to protect the appropriate person(s) (which may include a medical referral or report to the local law enforcement authorities); and  

9. Release of information or records as otherwise required by law.  

Social Media Guidelines for Volunteers
BBBS supports internet safety. The match should be together for at least 90 days before submitting a social media permission form for approval. While matched in our program, “friending” each other on Facebook or any other social media is strongly discouraged. Volunteers must get parent’s permission to post any pictures or information on social media/internet regarding the child. The child’s last name or location should NEVER be used when posting any information

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 [BBBSA affiliate] 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.
Transportation Plan

I understand the need to have and to maintain adequate transportation to safely and consistently get to and from my assigned child’s home, school or other meeting point and to allow me to provide a safe and consistent means to visiting with the child in a variety of community settings. I agree to maintain such and to notify Big Brothers Big Sisters (BBBS) of any change in the above  approved transportation plan prior to transporting myself of my assigned child to and from activities agreed to between myself and the parent/guardian of my assigned child. I agree to notify BBBS of any changes in my driving status and to provide BBBS with any requested driving history records. I agree that should it be necessary to have someone other than the above named person(s) transport me or the assigned child in my role as a Big Brother or Big Sister, I will notify BBBS and will provide proof of insurance valid drivers license and a driving history report for any such driver. I agree to maintain the legally required automobile insurance and to cease transporting my assigned child, if I failed to possess a valid drivers license, to maintain the required insurance and to maintain a safe driving history. I agree to drive safely, obey the driving laws of the state of California, and to have my assigned child wear seat belts while in the car.
Bigs Guidelines and Ground Rules                                                             
The agency has guidelines that are important for you to follow.  These guidelines are designed to help you be successful and to protect you, the agency and the child. Failure to comply with the guidelines may result in termination of your match. 

  1. You must contact your Match Support Specialist monthly.  Please let your Match Support Specialist know what challenges you encounter and your positive experiences.  This will help prevent a little issue from becoming a big one. 
  2. For the first 30 days of the match, keep activities to within 30 miles of the child’s home. 
  3. Make a practice of seeing your Little about 2-4 times per month, not less and not too much more.  This is to ensure that your Little won’t be disappointed if you are unable to see them more than 4 times per month. 
  4. Arrange outings ahead of time and get parental approval.  Always call the Little before you pick them up and always return your Little at the agreed upon time.  If changes occur during the outing or you are running late, please give the parent a call.   
  5. Always have your Big Brothers Big Sisters Emergency Card with you when you are with your Little. 
  6. Overnight visits are only allowed if: The Big is at least 25, the Little is at least 16, and they have been matched for at least 24 months. All overnight visits must be discussed and approved by the Parent/Guardian and MSS. Up to two overnights are permitted per calendar year, and each overnight is not to exceed two consecutive nights. 
  7. Out-of-town activities are permitted after 6 months of Match Introduction but must have staff and parent approval before the outing takes place.  Visits to the volunteer’s home are allowed after 6 months of the Match Introduction. 
  8. It is suggested that you not include any outside person in your outings with your Little (at least for the first 3 months of the relationship).  It takes time for the two of you to build a friendship.   
  9. The only individual allowed to drive your Little is you, even if your Little’s sibling also has a Big. 
  10. Non-outing related transportation for your Little is prohibited.   
  11. Strive for free or low-costing activities, and while tempting, try not to give the child extra gifts.  Use money sparingly, it is your friendship that is truly important. 
  12. Get to know your Little gradually and naturally.  Don’t feel pressured to rush your friendship. 
  13. Be consistent and dependable. Your Little must learn to trust you, so avoid being late, breaking dates or making promises you are unable to keep. 
  14. Let your Little know when you will see them again.  Try not to keep them guessing. 
  15. Encourage your Little to share in making decisions about the activities in which the two of you engage.  Giving options from which the child can choose may help build the child’s ability to make decisions and will help you set boundaries. 
  16. Children learn by problem solving.  Work with your Little and set realistic directions and goals.  Try to make the achievement fun for them. 
  17. Try not to expect a “thank you.”  Some children find it difficult to express their appreciation.  Your Little will learn to show appreciation by hearing you say “thank you” and watching your behavior. 
  18. If giving advice, always be supportive of the parent, even when you disagree.  Don’t make judgments concerning any family situations.  It is, however, appropriate for the Big to correct misbehavior within the context of the relationship, but do not interfere if the parent disciplines the Little in your presence. 
  19. Do not discipline your Little.  Avoid discussing a situation or problems concerning your Little in front of him or her.  If you need to discuss a situation with the parent, it should be done privately.  If the child’s safety is in question, you must contact your Match Support Specialist immediately. 
  20. Keep your knowledge about your Little and his or her family confidential. 
  21. Do not feel socially responsible to the family of your Little.  For example, do not feel obligated to accept invitations from the parent or child’s other family members.  Feel free to say no to any and all requests. 
  22. Respect your Little’s family values in regard to choice of movies or types of places you take your Little.  Be aware of your own values and how they may conflict with the parent’s values. 
  23. If for any reason you decide you want to try to close your match, first discuss the situation with your Match Support Specialist, who will help you work with the parent and child to address the situation or will help facilitate a positive match closure. 
Authorization to Release and Receive

I have applied to become a Big Brother or Big Sister volunteer. Part of the background investigation required involves a disclosure of any current or past counseling or therapy information.  Please provide Big Brothers Big Sisters a summary of my current and/or past counseling and/or therapy experience.  Without your information my application cannot be processed.  Please return within three weeks.  

Big Brothers Big Sisters is a social service agency serving children from single-parent families who are in need of additional adult companionship.  These children may have emotional, educational, and social problems.  Through the personal relationship which develops between the child and volunteer, the child receives adult guidance and friendship as an aid in dealing with some of his or her problems.  The Big Brother Big Sister makes a commitment to meet with the child two to four times per month, for a period of one a year. 

This constitutes my authorization to release said information to Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Sacramento. 

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.