Our participants come to us with a wide range of personal characteristics. We believe that participant eligibility shall be determined without regard to race, color, religion, national origin, gender, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity, veteran status, or disability.
The agency inquires with all potential participants about their personal use and ownership of firearms during the enrollment process. If at any time, during the life of the match, a volunteer becomes an owner of firearms or weapons, firearms or ammunition ownership are licensed, permitted, registered, and handled in accordance with all applicable state and federal laws. Volunteers must secure and lock weapons and ammunition in order to be approved and matched with a Little. If a volunteer discloses ownership of any , this information must be shared with the child's parent/guardian. A Weapons Policy must be signed by the volunteer.
Volunteers are responsible for ensuring that all weapons, firearms and ammunition are made inaccessible at all times to their Little throughout the life of the match. The volunteer must seek parental approval and notify their Match Support Specialist prior to using a firearm on a match activity such as target-shooting or hunting. In order to use firearms, volunteers and children must follow all Iowa laws including age restrictions and required gun safety certification.
Additionally, all children matched in the program should refrain from taking weapons, including pocket knives, with them during match outings.
Children's safety is a top priority of the agency. In order to help ensure child safety, the agency performs thorough professional screening of all participants before approving them for participation. Once participants are approved and matched, they receive ongoing match support. In addition to other ground rules and guidelines for participating, specific safety policies and procedures are in place in order to protect youth, as well as adults. Violation of any of these policies may result in actions up to and including termination of the match and of the participant from the program. Decisions will be determined based on the severity of the incident and the level at which their actions presented harm to themselves or others.
Heart of Iowa Big Brothers Big Sisters recognizes that online social networking (Facebook, Twitter, Snap Chat, Instagram, etc.) is an incredibly popular communications tool and that many of our Big Brothers/Sisters, Little Brothers/Sisters, parents/guardians and agency staff use these websites. It is our recommendation that Bigs and Littles/parent/guardians not be friends or communicate through social media. Any posting of photos online by Bigs/staff of Little will require approval by parent/guardian and will not include the name of the child to insure confidentiality, privacy and child safety.