BBBSMI prioritizes child safety, confidentiality and the privacy of program participants. All electronic documentation is maintained in a safe, secure file via Matchforce. Our confidentiality policy, which addresses program participants’ information and the limits of confidentiality is signed by all program participants and staff.
BBBSMI asks all volunteers who are accepted into the program to recognize that their personal information available on the Internet can be viewed by Littles and their families. Volunteers are expected to be positive role models on all Internet websites that are accessible to the public, their Littles and their Little’s families. BBBSMI may search public information on the Internet about each volunteer. Volunteers must confirm parental consent prior to posting pictures or personal information of any BBBSMI youth or BBBSMI family. BBBSMI requires its volunteers to respect the confidentiality and privacy of the children and families of BBBSMI in regards to social networking and Internet technology. The volunteer must adhere to all state and federal laws where applicable.
BBBSMI recognizes that social media, and other digital technology is an integral communication tool. In general, personal use of social media sites is typically for communications between peers, including friends and family. Not all social networking sites are designed to support mentoring relationships. BBBSMI encourages volunteers to interact with their youth on a one- to-one, in-person basis, but understands that there are certain circumstances where the use of social media is acceptable with specific authorizations and safeguards to ensure a mentee’s safety, confidentiality, and privacy. When necessary to communicate outside of face to face, BBBS encourages matches to communicate on a BBBS provided or approved platform.
As a condition of being a Big, volunteers must abide by these Social Media Guidelines. Failure to adhere to these guidelines may result in termination of their match. Parent/Guardians receive a copy of the Social Media Guidelines and must indicate in writing whether they give consent for the volunteer to post pictures or video of their child online.
Social Media/Digital Technology Guidelines (to be signed off on by Big and Parent/Guardian at Match Meeting and uploaded into MatchForce.
Rationale: Big Brothers Big Sisters of Southwest Michigan recognizes that online social networking (Facebook,Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, blogs, etc.) has become a very popular communications tool and that many of our Big Brothers/Sisters and Little Brothers/Sisters use these websites. Personal use of social networking sites is typically for communication between peers, including friends and family. BBBS wants to reiterate that your relationship with your Little is that of a mentor 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 your Little to a social networking site. If you have any doubts, please contact your Mentoring Relationship Specialist and/or postpone your invitation or acceptance. If you do choose to participate in a social networking site with your Little, you must adhere to the following guidelines regarding any postings related to your match or affiliation with BBBS:
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. Create a separate group for your Little, his/her parent/guardian, and BBBS staff that limits your Little’s access to your general or universal postings.
Give the parent/guardian and BBBS of Southwest Michigan your website address, and when possible, link your page to the BBBS of Southwest Michigan page on that site so that we can follow along with your postings. We are active on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
Never post any pictures of your Little online unless you have the written consent of the Little’s parent/guardian. That consent form should be filed with BBBS of Southwest Michigan.
Never post the last name of your Little, his/her parent/guardian, or BBBS of Southwest Michigan staff.
Never post any contact information for your Little or any identifying information about your Little (i.e.: child’s home address, school the child attends, where the parent works, etc.).
Never post anything that could be perceived as judgmental or offensive to your Little or his/her parent/guardian.
Make sure that your page settings are set to private, so that only people you approve can view your online content. Ensure that BBBS of Southwest Michigan and the parent/guardian are approved if you plan to post content related to your match.
Honor confidentiality guidelines within your match; be cautious when posting detailed information about conversations with Little, their parent/guardian, or with BBBS 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 BBBS of Southwest Michigan prior to posting.
Do not post information that can only be accessed through the BBBS of Southwest Michigan monthly activities e-newsletter. These opportunities are meant for current Bigs and Littles only, not the general public.
Be aware of other postings on your page that are not BBBS of Southwest Michigan related
or are inappropriate for minors. Know that as a BBBS 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.
When in doubt about whether or not something is appropriate to post, consult with your Mentoring Relationship Specialist prior to posting.
Volunteers must ensure privacy controls and settings restrict accessibility of youth in the program to only age-appropriate content when using any device while in the care of the volunteer.
If a Big sees a Little posting or being involved in posts that are potentially a safety concern (for example, bullying, threats to self or others, gang involvement, use of weapons, drugs, or alcohol), the Big should notify their MRS. If a parent/guardian sees a Big posting or being involved in posts that are potentially a safety concern (for example, bullying, threats to self or others, gang involvement, use of weapons, drugs, or alcohol), they should notify their MRS.
Failure to adhere to these guidelines may result in the termination of your match.