Big Brothers Big Sisters makes child safety our top priority. We have zero tolerance for abuse or exploitation of any kind. Big Brothers Big Sisters has designed our child protection systems in collaboration with experts including the Centers for Disease Control, the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, and the Nonprofit Risk Management Center.
Our volunteers and staff undergo thorough screening and background checks. Big Brothers Big Sisters’ professional mentoring support staff have ongoing and regular communication with volunteers, mentees, and their families, and are trained to immediately make law enforcement or child protective services authorities aware of any allegations or suspicions of child abuse or exploitation.
We remain committed to improving children’s odds for overcoming adversity, succeeding in school, breaking negative cycles and having higher self-esteem and aspirations. Safety and security are the foundation of the service we provide.
The integrity of our program is extremely important and to achieve the highest quality standards possible, we work constantly to review and strengthen our screening process, our training and monitoring systems, and child protection policies and procedures.
At Big Brothers Big Sisters of Utah, child safety is a top priority! We follow the youth protection system developed by Big Brothers Big Sisters of America based on the most current knowledge and research.
The key elements of our screening system include:
- A formal written application
- Background and reference checks
- Assessment of the prospective volunteer’s home environment
- An in-person interview assessing whether the volunteer is suitable to work with children or not
- A training and orientation process that gives mentors clear ground rules to abide by
- On-going support to continue monitoring our matches
Of course, our screening includes multi-level criminal history checks and personal and professional references. Through on-going match support, we regularly contact each child and their parent/guardian to discuss relationship development, and child safety. We have ground rules for matches that promote safety and appropriate boundaries. For all of our matches, we provide training for both the child and their parent/guardian to increase their understanding of how to prevent all forms of child abuse.