Barrie Block Parent®

Keeping Barrie safe, one block at a time!

FAQs

 

1. WHO CAN BECOME A BLOCK PARENT®?
Any responsible adult over the age of 18 can become a Block Parent®. You will be screened following the Block Parent® Program of Canada’s Safe Screening Process, which includes a Police Records Check. A volunteer can be virtually anyone and may work outside the home. They do not have to have children. Seniors make great Block Parents, too.

2. IS THERE MUCH WORK INVOLVED?
NO! YOUR SIGN IN YOUR WINDOW FOR AT LEAST ONE hour a week iS all it takes. It will not alter your life style or make demands on your time. When you are “AVAILABLE” (which means you are able to answer the door to someone requiring assistance), simply display the sign in a window visible from the street. If a child is bothered by a stranger or a bully, is sick, hurt or lost, they know the sign says a “SAFE ADULT” is there to offer help.

3. IS BLOCK PARENT® A GLORIFIED BABYSITTING SERVICE?
DEFINITELY NOT! Children are taught in school to respect the Block Parent® home and to only use it for an emergency. Parents should insure their children are educated about the Program as well.

4. IS THERE REALLY A NEED FOR THE BLOCK PARENT® PROGRAM?
YES! Today’s society is so mobile that children can no longer rely on their extended family. Most parents don’t even know their neighbours well enough to trust them with their children. Block Parents are there to help should the need arise.

5. HOW OFTEN ARE BLOCK PARENT® HOMES USED?
THIS VARIES – Some homes may never be used while others will be used several times. Each year, over 1000 Block Parents from coast to coast are called upon for help. Bullying appears to be the cause of the majority of incidents. Remember that the Block Parent® sign acts as a deterrent to most troublemakers; hence, the more signs on display, the safer your community is.

6. WHO CAN USE A BLOCK PARENT® HOME?
Anyone in distress, including children, teens, women and seniors.

7. HOW CAN I HELP? I’M NEVER HOME.
There must be a few hours a week or month when you are home and could display a sign, especially during the evening hours or on weekends and holidays. Halloween is particularly important. This is the ideal volunteer position for a busy person like you. You can provide a valuable service to your community without having to make a special effort to do so. Simply put your sign in the window when you are available.

8. DO WE HAVE TO HAVE CHILDREN TO BE A BLOCK PARENT®?
NO. Block Parent® needs as many volunteers as possible. Anyone over the age of 18 years who can pass the screening process can become a Block Parent® and make a valuable contribution to the Program.

9. AREN’T THERE ENOUGH BLOCK PARENTS ON OUR BLOCK ALREADY?
Block Parent® always needs more volunteers so at least one sign can be visible at all times on each block. This requires a large number of approved volunteers because many volunteers are not able to display their signs more than a few hours a day or week. The more Block Parents your community has, the better it is protected.

10. DO I HAVE TO LET STRANGERS INTO MY HOME?
NO – you do not have to let anyone into your home if you think it may threaten you or your family. Information can be exchanged through a locked door if necessary and the appropriate telephone call made.

11. WHEN I TAKE MY SIGN DOWN, DOESN’T THAT INDICATE THAT WE ARE NOT HOME?
DEFINITELY NOT! A sign removed from view does not necessarily mean that no one is home. There will be many times when the volunteer is home, but does not want to be “on duty”, so the sign is not on display. Police assure us that there are many easier ways for would-be criminals to determine whether or not a home is occupied. They would not rely on the Block Parent® sign as a reliable indicator. If you are concerned about this, try using your sign only on certain days of the week and leave it down at all other times. Do not attempt to leave the sign up permanently because children are taught that when they see the sign, help is available.

12. WHAT IS THE LEGAL STATUS OF A BLOCK PARENT®?
There is no legal status other than of a private citizen who has agreed to act as a sensible and responsible adult should a problem arise. All Block Parent® volunteers are covered by liability insurance.