Need Help Now? Call 988 for the Suicide and Crisis Lifeline or Text BIG to 741741

Safeguarding Children

Nationally Required Standards of Excellence

Big Brothers Big Sisters of America (BBBSA) affiliated agencies are separate 501©3 organizations that have the primary responsibility for risk management and youth protection in their organizations. This includes the establishment of local policies and procedures that best protect youth, effective screening and selection of staff and volunteers, and professional monitoring of match relationships.

For decades, BBBSA has worked with local agencies and national violence prevention experts to implement nationwide standards based on industry best practice of high quality in service delivery. On a constant basis, we work with agencies and outside experts to carefully examine our standards and service delivery model as emerging best practices in child safety evolve.

Parents As Partners

When it comes to the future of our children and the well-being of our communities, we are all in this together. So it should come as no surprise that we need the parents and guardians of Littles to be involved every step of the way. Parents approve the selection of their child’s Big and remain in close contact with professional staff to look out for their child’s best interests and to help achieve the best possible outcomes for their child. Parents approve all activities and outings between Bigs and Littles and communicate regularly with their child and their Big to help ensure healthy and safe relationship development.

Screening & Selection of Bigs

Making the best possible match between a Little and a Big is critical to the growth and development of a child. But before we begin the matching process, agency professional staff start by thoroughly screening potential Bigs.

Big Brothers Big Sisters National Standards of Excellence require each volunteer to complete an extensive screening process that includes:

Green corner graphic  Completion of a formal written application

Green corner graphic  Background and reference checks

Green corner graphic  An in-person interview

Green corner graphic  An orientation and training process

Professional Match Support

Our highly qualified, specially trained match support professionals are responsible for helping to ensure that relationships between Littles and Bigs are developing in a healthy, safe way for everyone involved. They’re also responsible for helping guide mentoring relationships that will be enduring and enriching, and result in positive outcomes for youth, unique to Big Brothers Big Sisters. 

Our ongoing match support process is extensive, and includes:

Required match supervision by trained staff, including ongoing communication with match participants for the life of a match

Professional monitoring of adherence to safety-related policies and procedures focused on maintaining appropriate boundaries

Nationwide technology that tracks and monitors match activities and Littles’ progress in areas such as academics


The BBBSA Video Shorts are for volunteer Bigs, parents/guardians, and youth on a variety
of topics that impact their daily life and relationships.

Children & Youth

Trust Tree for Kids

Personal Boundaries for Youth

Parents & Guardians

Introducing Trauma-Informed Care for Parents


Bullying Prevention for Parents

Conversation Starters for Younger Youth

Conversation Starters for Older Youth

Personal Boundries


Bullying Prevention for Minors