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Accountability

Our agency is founded upon five core values:

  • The belief that child development is enhanced by positive, nurturing relationships
  • The promotion of healthy, safe environments for children
  • That our strength comes from the collaboration of staff and volunteers in service delivery
  • That high Standards are needed to achieve successful results
  • That our work must reflect the diversity of the community we serve

Child Safety

There is nothing more important than the safety and well-being of the children that we work with.

The Child Safety Program is designed to teach children and their parents how to avoid becoming victims of abuse, and to provide volunteers with information and guidelines about their responsibilities in a match. 

The Concept Of "Child Safety"
Increasing publicity about child abuse and the betrayal of trust by persons (paid and unpaid) who work with and relate to children is a sad reflection of the kind of society ours has become. However, it is important that organizations like ours fully acknowledge this reality, and respond proactively to protect children, and help children to protect themselves.

We realize that children are perhaps the most vulnerable of all groups in our society, and we also know the unfortunate fact that abuse, in many forms, is often perpetrated on children.

Abuse prevention therefore has to be an important part of our organization's work with Little Brothers and Little Sisters.

But abuse is only one part of the overall child safety program here at Big Brothers and Big Sisters.

We take a broad perspective on child safety. We also are committed to child safety in terms of helping children to make smart choices about their day to day activities, and teaching and reinforcing messages that they hear from other sources such as street smarts, and bicycle and pedestrian safety.

We want to help our Little Brothers and Little Sisters to assess dangers and risks associated with all of their everyday life experiences.

So while abuse - the malicious and intentional infliction of harm - is an important part of our child safety program, we do not confine ourselves only to abuse prevention.

We want you to do the same.

Purpose of the Child Safety Program
Big Brothers and Big Sisters place a strong emphasis on child safety:

  • To acknowledge and respond appropriately and responsibly to increasing reports of abuse of children in our society
  • To increase the safety of Little Brothers and Little Sisters, both during activities related to Big Brothers and Big Sisters services, and in other aspects of their lives
  • To help protect Little Brothers and Little Sisters from sexual and other forms of abuse
  • To increase children's ability to protect themselves
  • To educate volunteers about child abuse issues
  • To increase the knowledge and skills of Big Brothers and Big Sisters regarding safe activities, appropriate and inappropriate activities, risk assessment and the prevention of harm, and what Big Brothers and Big Sisters need to do to keep themselves safe
  • To educate parents and guardians of children in our program about personal safety and sexual abuse prevention
  • To encourage the reporting of child abuse (in and out of our program)
  • To assist Big Brothers and Big Sisters to respond effectively and to supportive Little Brothers and Little Sisters, should a disclosure of sexual abuse, physical or emotional abuse occur
  • To continue to be an organization concerned about the safety and well being of children

Our Beliefs About Child Safety
We believe that a comprehensive and broadly defined child safety program that is woven through all of what we do will enhance the quality and standards of all Big Brothers and Big Sisters programs.

We believe that Big Brothers and Big Sisters - the organization and the volunteers - are in an ideal situation to teach, reinforce, and role model safety, and to identify dangers and risks in children's behaviour and/or settings. We therefore have deliberately defined the role of our volunteers to maximize our collective potential to keep children safe.

We believe that it is important for Big Brothers and Big Sisters to learn about abuse as well as other kinds of dangers so you can help your Little to stay safe, to learn how to identify warning signs that abuse might be taking place and what to do about it, and equally important, to learn the boundaries between 'appropriate' and 'inappropriate' around your own behaviour both to respect and keep children safe, and to protect yourselves from allegations of impropriety.

How Can I Volunteer- What is Needed ? 

Not sure if you can make the commitment...

. Take a look at our current programs and volunteer hours and see what you can. Let's Start Something together for the youth of North Simcoe

Traditional 1:1

3-4 hours a week

Big Bunch Group

- for youth waiting for a match- 2-3 hours per month

In School Mentoring

- a 1:1 opportunity that fits your schedule for the duration of the school year.   1 hour per week

 

It's easier than you think

If you would like to explore these opportunities, contact the office.