The aim of the Block Parent Program is to provide a safe haven for all citizens,
especially children and seniors. The more Block Parent homes you have, the better
the protection for your community. It is recommended that at least two homes on
each block be Block Parent homes.

All residents, 12 years and older, in such a home are carefully screened by the local
Police Service and each home is issued an easily identifiable sign to display
prominently in a window facing the street. The sign, the official symbol of the Block
Parent Program, conveys a message to all who pass by the home. It says in effect:

This is a home to which you may turn for immediate help if:
    You are bothered by strangers
    You are sick or injured,
    You are being bullied
    You are frightened by an animal
    You are lost
    You get caught in severe weather
    Your car breaks down
    You find yourself on a date gone bad
    You are the victim of a street robbery (purse snatching).

The sign has another important purpose. It acts as a deterrent to those who prey on
young children and seniors. It says, “Stay out of our Neighbourhood. We are
protecting our young.”

The Block Parent is NOT expected to:
   Provide food or beverage
   Provide washroom facilities
   Provide transportation
   Administer first aid
   Leave their home to break up fights
   Open their door to anyone they feel uncomfortable about.

A Block Parent never puts themselves in a position that could be detrimental to
them or their families.

The Block Parent sign is only displayed when the Block Parent home is available for
use. There is no change in lifestyle required. If the Block Parent is unavailable for
any reason, the sign is removed.

The Program does not place a burden on the Block Parents. Many of them are
home during the especially critical hours when children are traveling to and from
school, but the Program is not limited to school hours. Other Block Parents will be
at work during these times and will be available at other times, convenient to them
(e.g. after work hours and weekends). Any responsible person over the age of (18)
eighteen may apply to become a Block Parent (e.g. single parents, senior citizens,
unmarried people).

Having children is not a prerequisite to becoming a Block Parent.

Seniors can make excellent Block Parents.


   1. All Block Parent Programs must follow the five basic criteria set down in
      Article I, Section 1.2 of the Bylaws of the Block Parent Program of Canada

         a)     The use of the Block Parent Symbol of the Block Parent Program
                and the words Block Parent/Parents-Secours;

         b)     The police screening of all prospective Block Parents and a
                systematic screening of previously approved Block Parents;

         c)     The removal of the Block Parent Sign from view when the Block
                Parent is not available;

         d)     The confidentiality of lists of individual Block Parents; and

         e)     The regulation of the display of the Block Parent sign.

   2. This manual is to be used as a guide. All Block Parent Programs must devise
      the organization, which is best suited to their purpose, while retaining the
      five basic criteria of the Block Parent Program as stated in number 1.

   3. Starter kits are available from the Purchasing Director of the Ontario Block
      Parent Program Inc.

   4. Set up a steering committee of 4-6 volunteers to organize your local area.

   5. Establish support and endorsement from your Police Service, your area
      Public and Separate School Boards and your Municipal Council.

   6. In order to start a Block Parent Program you must register by mailing the
      Registration Form, Endorsement Form, Local License Agreement and
      Association Agreement to the Treasurer of the Ontario Block Parent Program
   7. Financing is necessary. Approach local service clubs, businesses, your
      municipal council, etc. for donations.

   8. In large communities, divide your community into geographic or school areas.
      Select one of these areas, (e.g. an area containing 2 or 3 Public Schools, and
      the Separate School which covers the same area) as a pilot area. Choose an
      area where interest is greatest and where parent-teacher involvement is high
      to ensure the success of your pilot program.

   9. Utilize the Procedure Manual and Chairman’s Handbook. They are provided
      to help you.

   10. Members of the Board of Directors of the Ontario Block Parent Program Inc.
       are available to help, may speak at introductory meetings and assist with
       education in the schools.

                         OPERATING PROCEDURES

Certification Marks
The words “Block Parent” and “Parents-Secours” and the Block Parent symbol of
the Block Parent Program of Canada Inc. are Registered Trademarks of the
Corporation and the Block Parent symbol of the Block Parent Program of Canada
Inc. is protected under Copyright. All matters pertaining to their use, not otherwise
covered, will be directed immediately to the Board of Directors of the Corporation.

Screening of New Committee
Prior to a new Block Parent Committee being registered, all committee members
and their families must complete an approved Block Parent application form and
submit to their local police service for a criminal record check.
Once this process has been successfully completed for all committee members you
may then proceed to register your program.

Registration of Block Parent Committees
Local Block Parent Committees register by virtue of submitting to the Ontario
Block Parent Program Inc. Board of Directors a Registration Form, Local License
Agreement, Association Agreement and Endorsement Form duly signed with seal or
badge number of their Police Liaison Officer. Only then may the Block Parent
Committees order Block Parent signs or be in possession of Block Parent materials.
The endorsement ensures that the police are involved and are aware of the
requirement for screening of Block Parent applications.
Screening of Block Parents
No community will be allowed to operate a Block Parent Program unless the Police
Service has agreed to screen the Block Parent applicants. All Block Parent
Committees must use the standard Ontario application form. There may be the
odd occasion where a certain Police Service requires additional information added to
the application in which case the community will have to produce their own form
which must be approved by the Board of Directors of the Ontario Block Parent
Program Inc. The application form must contain the following statement:

The applicants and all residents of the applicant’s household agree to provide information on request
including personal information as defined in the Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of
Privacy Act and the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act. Information will be
provided on all residents upon request, regardless of age.
In particular, I/we authorize the Police Service to enquire into my/our backgrounds in order to
determine my/our suitability as a Block Parent. These enquiries will include a criminal
check and a review of all other police contacts deemed relevant by the Block Parent Program and the
Police Service.
I/we consent to the collection and disclosure of personal information by and between the local Block
Parent Program and a law enforcement agency in order to evaluate my/our suitability as a Block
I/we have provided complete and correct information on all persons in the residence as required by
this application. If this application is approved, I/we agree to advise of changes in the status of
persons living in the residence that might compromise the principles of the Block Parent Program.
Past criminal convictions or charges that are yet to be resolved that deal with any sexual offences,
substance abuse offences or violent (assaults) behaviour will automatically result in the rejection of
this application. Police contacts will be evaluated based on recency, nature of contact and potential
for recurrence to ensure that no child of the community will be at risk while under the care of a Block
Parent. The local Block Parent Program will make all decisions regarding this application.
I/we further consent to a search being made in the automated criminal records retrieval system
maintained by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police to find out if I/we have been convicted of, and
been granted a pardon for, any of the sexual offenses that are listed in the schedule to the Criminal
Records Act. I/We understand that, as a result of giving this consent, if I/we are suspected of being
the person named in a criminal record for one of the sexual offenses listed in the schedule to the
Criminal Records Act in respect of which a pardon was granted or issued, that record may be
provided by the Commissioner of the RCMP to the Solicitor General of Canada, who may then
disclose all or part of the information contained in that record to a police service or other authorized
body. That police service or authorized body will then disclose that information to me. If I/we
further consent in writing to disclosure of that information to the local Block Parent Program who
requested the verification, that information will be disclosed to the local Block Parent Program.

The following statement must also be included on the application:

“This application will be screened by the police and may be rescreened at any time. This application
will be handled in the strictest confidence. Police or any other information will not be released to any
unauthorized person or organization.”

Screening is a police matter and is usually done through the Canadian Police
Investigation Centre (CPIC) in Ottawa and by the local Police Service Daily
Occurrence Sheets.

1. Contact the Ontario Block Parent Program Inc. (1-800-563-2771).

2. Obtain the support of your local Police Service.

3. Obtain support of your local school(s).

4. Establish interest in the community.

5. An administrative committee shall be formed. The size of the committee will
   depend on the size of the community and/or the number of Block Parents.
   National Policy states a minimum of three. (A suggestion for the committee
   will be found in Duties and Responsibilities of Committee Members.) The
   local Police Service MUST approve all Committee members. A copy of the
   application form will be supplied by the Ontario Block Parent Program Inc.
   (see Appendix “C“).

6. Complete the Local License Agreement, Association Agreement, Registration
   Form and Endorsement Form, provided by the Ontario Block Parent Program
   Inc. Upon completion and return of the forms to Ontario Block Parent
   Program Inc., the committee will become a member of Ontario Block Parent
   Program Inc. and will be entitled to be in possession of all Block Parent
   materials and Block Parent Program of Canada Inc. approved window signs.

7. Distribute Block Parent applications to all interested parties. BOTH
   household heads MUST sign the application form. Anyone over 12 years of
   age in the household MUST be listed and sign the application form (e.g.
   Children, Uncles, Aunts, Grandparents, Boarders, Housekeepers, Nannies,
   etc.) All children under 12 MUST also be listed on the application form.

8. It is preferred that the completed application form be dropped off at the local
   Police Station as some Police Services require applicants to show photo ID
   and complete other forms.

9. Rejected applications are kept in a file at your local Police Service. It is the
   Police Officer’s responsibility to notify the individual concerned of the reasons
   for rejection. The committee will not be given the names of the rejected
   applicants or the reasons for rejection. This is confidential information.

10. The original applications are returned to the Chairman/Registrar of the Local
    Committee and should have the signature of the Police Officer contained
    thereon. Photocopying of application forms is not permitted. However a back
    up system must be implemented (i.e. index cards, computer disk). It is
   suggested that this should be kept in a different location than the original
   application forms.

   Each Block Parent receives a number. Place the number on the upper
   right-hand corner of the application form before filing. This code number is
   also marked on an upper corner of the Block Parent house sign before
   delivery to the new Block Parent. You mark the number on the sign itself
   with a permanent marker or engraver.

11. Lists of approved Block Parents MUST NOT be given to any unauthorized
   persons. Lists are confidential and are not to be given to anyone.

12. ONLY window signs obtained from Ontario Block Parent Program Inc.
    MUST be used. These are to be ordered from the Sign Control Director of
   Ontario Block Parent Program Inc.

13. All Block Parent signs used in the community are under the control
    and responsibility of the local Block Parent Committee

   Record keeping is essential to the program. Each Committee MUST have a
   record of every Block Parent sign and every Block Parent home. Each Block
   Parent sign must be coded and the information recorded along with the
   name, address and phone number plus the children’s names and birth dates
   and any additional adults in the home to which the sign is issued.

14.When delivering the Block Parent sign, the Chairman/Registrar MUST
   have a Window Sign Agreement Form signed by one of the screened
   Block Parents. Completion of this form and the signature of the Block
   Parent covers the committee legally in the event that you may wish to
   retrieve a sign from a Block Parent who is no longer desirable. (Form
   in Appendix of Forms)
   An Incident Report Form MUST be supplied to the approved Block
   Parent when they receive their Window Sign.

   Verbally instruct new Block Parents about their responsibilities,
   stressing that the sign MUST be removed when they go out or when
   they are not available to answer the door. Also stress that the sign
   MUST not be placed in a screen door or garage window or anywhere it
   can easily be removed from the outside. (Please review the rules on
   the back of the Block Parent sign.)

15. Explain to the Block Parent that in the event of an incident, the first
    person they are to contact is the Parent/Guardian or emergency personnel,
    then the local Chairman (if applicable). The Block Parent must complete an
      Incident Report Form, which must be given to the Chairman/Registrar who
      then passes the information on to the Ontario Block Parent Program Inc.

      Be sure the Block Parent understands whom to contact if their Window Sign
      is lost or damaged.

  16. Establish a source of funding. Reasons for funding could include:
                Photocopying
                Costs associated with attending Provincial Meeting
                Costs associated with holding community meetings
                Costs associated with Block Parent Week
                Telephone expenses
                Membership and postage
                Volunteer appreciation
                Office supplies
                Education supplies and handouts

  17. Establish a birthday file so that as children reach the age of 12 years,
      the Police can screen them.

  18. Block Parent instructions are printed on the back of the Block Parent
      Window Signs. The back of the sign should also include the name and
      telephone number of the local Chairman or Area/School Rep and the Police
      emergency telephone number.

      Signs MUST NOT be used for display purposes; posters are available from
      the Purchasing Director of Ontario Block Parent Program Inc. for this

      For obvious reasons, it is not recommended that a Block Parent Window Sign
      be given to homes where:
          There is a presence of an angry/large dog
          Sign is not visible due to large trees or bushes
          Locked front gate

  19. Chairman to contact school Principal to arrange a convenient time to
      visit the school and talk to the students about the Block Parent Program.


Now that your Block Parent Program has been organized, it is important that the
Committee have a system in place to keep in close contact with the Block Parents.
The following are guidelines for maintaining the Program:

Committee Meetings
   Should be held on a regular basis
   Conducted according to Parliamentary Procedure
   The Chairman or in their absence, the Vice Chairman should chair all
   The Police liaison should be encouraged to attend
   A quorum is two-thirds of the Committee
   The Treasurer will give a financial report at every meeting

Contact with the School
      Always check with the Principal at the beginning of the school year to
       schedule classroom visits
      If your school has regular newsletters sent home, ask if you can use a portion
       for Block Parent news
      Present Program outline to School Council for their information, assistance
       and acceptance
      It is necessary to visit classrooms at least once a year to reinforce the use of
       the Block Parent Program
      Distribute “Dear Parent” letters to all elementary schools each fall
      Have Block Parent information, brochures and application forms available at
       school functions wherever parents are present

Contact with the Block Parents
    Telephone each Block Parent at least once a year
    Ask about the condition of the sign (faded or damaged)
    Ask about any incidents that may have occurred
    Ask about any problems
    Ask about any additional adults
    Ask about any new arrivals (including babies)
    Check that the address is still the same
    Remind the Block Parent to remove the sign when they are not available to
      offer assistance
    Remind the Block Parent that if they move they are to return their sign to
      the Committee or the Police liaison
    Remind the Block Parent that an Incident Form must be filled out every time
      an incident occurs
    In rural areas – do not forget to have the decal removed from the post or
      mailbox if resident moves.

Block Parents need to be reminded periodically of their commitment and how
important they are to the Program.

The following are suggestions for establishing and maintaining a Block Parent
   1. There should be only one Committee consisting of no less than 3 members for
      each community. As new areas within the community adopt the Program,
      the existing Committee MUST take responsibility for the organization of the
      entire Program within the community. A Committee may be responsible for
      several communities or just one. It all depends on the geographical area.
      The Ontario Block Parent Program Inc. may assist in deciding the
      jurisdiction of a Committee if requested.
   2. The Committee MUST have the active support and participation of the local
      Police Service.
   3. The local Police MUST screen all Committee members and their households,
      as well as prospective Block Parents and their households, before any signs
      are issued. The failure of ONE member of any household to pass the Police
      screening will prohibit anyone in that household from becoming a Block
      Parent while the rejected person lives there.
   4. Only Block Parent Program of Canada Inc. Window Signs SHALL be used.
      Each Committee must make application for signs to the Ontario Block Parent
      Program Sign Control Director.
   5. Each Committee MUST be responsible for the inventory and control of its
      Block Parent signs.
   6. Block Parent signs MUST only be displayed in Police approved residences.
   7. Block Parent Committees MUST NOT teach children about sexual abuse as
      part of their education program. Adult meetings, sponsored by Block Parent
      Committees, may present the topic of sexual abuse providing a trained
      professional is present to answer all questions.


To be done by the Chairman and/or Police liaison:

   1. To show that the Block Parent Program is for the safety of everyone.
   2. To show that the Block Parent Program is a valuable asset to the community.
   3. To discuss the use of the Block Parent sign.

   1. Prepare an agenda and make several copies.
   2. Introduce yourself and the Police liaison.
   3. Give a brief outline of the Block Parent Program
   4. Have a question and answer session about the Block Parent Program.
   5. Distribute brochures and application forms.
   6. Set a date for a follow-up meeting.

School Program

   1. To show how the Block Parent Program is for the safety of everyone,
       especially children.
   2. To show that the Block Parent Program is a valuable asset to the
   3. To discuss the use of the Block Parent Window Sign.
   4. To enhance the communication between schools, child, parent and Police.

Send a “Dear parent” letter home through the school.

Suggested methods of distribution: Town, City, Rural (your choice)
  1. Collect the returned tear slips from the school and distribute Application
     Forms to interested person.
  2. Distribute “Dear parent” letter and Application Forms stating that
     completed Application Forms are to be returned to the teacher. Teacher to
     turn over to Chairman for screening purposes.
  3. Distribute “Dear Parent” letter with Application Form. Applicants to be
     instructed to return application form to local Police service for screening.


The local Block Parent Committee will administer the Block Parent Program within
the Community, adhering to the Policy and By-laws of the Ontario Block Parent
Program Inc. This committee will be dealing with matters that are private and
confidential. The methods outlined in this Procedure Manual are the best in terms
of guaranteeing the privacy and anonymity of the people applying as Block Parents.

There should be no less than three members on the Committee. Positions may be
combined. The Chairman of an existing program must have been on the Committee
for a minimum of 2 years before assuming the role of Chairman.

    To call and chair all meetings, arrange time and place
    Is responsible for the agenda for all meetings
    Acts as liaison with Police, Boards of Education, Principals, City Hall and
      Ontario Block Parent Program Inc.
    Co-ordinates the reproduction, distribution and collection of all material
    Oversees all other committees and activities of the program
    Be a signing officer on all bank accounts
      To order window signs from Ontario Block Parent Program Inc.
      To receive all National and Provincial mail-outs
      To ensure that all manuals and handbooks are kept up to date
      To send notice to Ontario Block Parent Program Inc. whenever there is a
       change in the Committee
      To complete and send the Annual Registration Fee and Reports to the
       Treasurer of Ontario Block Parent Program Inc. by March 31st of each year
      To attend meetings of other organizations as a guest speaker as required.

    To take on all duties of the Chairman in their absence
    To assist the Chairman in any duties if requested
    To assume the position of Chairman in the event that the Chairman is
      unable to complete their term of office until the next election
    To attend meetings of other organizations as a guest speaker as required
    To be responsible for producing a newsletter if there is no newsletter editor

    To be responsible for recording and issuing Minutes of all Committee
    To send and file all correspondence for the Committee under the direction of
       the Chairman
    To maintain a file of the Minutes of the Annual Meeting of Ontario Block
       Parent Program Inc.
    Distribute minutes to all Committee Members and the Chairman of Ontario
       Block Parent Program Inc. prior to next scheduled meeting
    Shall be a signing officer on all bank accounts
    To attend meetings of other organizations as a guest speaker as required

    To sign all cheques and have charge of the bank account
    To maintain complete records of all financial transactions, pay bills and file
    To submit a financial report at each Committee Meeting
    To prepare a budget for submission to funding sources, if necessary
    To guide the Committee in preparing an annual budget
    To be responsible for all government forms (if applicable)
    To attend meetings of other organizations as a guest speaker as required

Registrar (or Sign Control Director)
    To receive approved applications from the local police service
    To prepare the signs with approved application number and emergency
      telephone numbers
      To prepare sign for delivery, including sign agreement, incident form and
       information manual
      Delivers signs to area or school reps for delivery to Block Parents (if
      Delivers sign to individual Block Parents
      To maintain an up to date file of the Block Parents
      To receive information regarding changes to the files
      To gather returned signs and dispose of them properly
      To gather returned sign agreement and application forms of Block Parents
       that have moved or resigned
      To ensure that the annual updating of Block Parents is done
      To ensure that rescreening of existing Block Parents is done on a timely basis
      To attend meetings of other organizations as a guest speaker as required

Newsletter/Public Relations
    To look after all public relations and media promotions in the community
    To prepare items to be placed in school newsletters
    To send news reports of the community to the Vice Chairman of the Ontario
      Block Parent Program Inc. for inclusion in provincial newsletter “The
    To prepare a newsletter to be sent to all Block Parents
    To maintain a file of all publicity. A photograph album is perfect for keeping
      newspaper clippings and photos
    To attend meetings of other organizations as a guest speaker as required

Education Director
    To form an education committee from your volunteers
    To contact local schools within your area
    To acquaint principals and teachers with the Block Parent Program
    To set up times, themes and materials for window displays in libraries, store
       fronts, etc. and to educate the general public about the Block Parent Program
    To attend meetings of other organizations as a guest speaker as required

Fundraising Director
    To organize and execute all fundraising events
    To attend meetings of other organizations as a guest speaker as required

Area Captains
    To divide her area among herself and her Area reps so that each is
      responsible for one segment of the area
    To act as a liaison between the Chairman and Block Parents in her area
    To maintain an up to date list of all Block Parents in her area
    To oversee and promote the canvassing of her school district to increase
      To devise ways to thank Block Parents for their participation
      To distribute information to interested applicants of the Block Parent
      To distribute the numbered signs and instructions to new Block Parents
      To return all signs to the Registrar when a Block Parent moves or resigns
      To check in at least once a year with each Block Parent to determine changes
       in the home and record all information in the files
      To compile a list, at least once a year, of those children that have reached the
       age of twelve years in a Block Parent home and forward this to the Registrar
      To make periodic checks of all Block Parents for sign misuse and to
       determine if a new sign is needed
      To work with the schools to organize school presentations
      To arrange distribution and collection of all printed material within the
       school area with the co-operation of the school principal
      To attend meetings of other organizations as a guest speaker as required

Area Representative
    To be responsible for the Block Parents in a 1 or 2 block area
    To deliver signs and instruct new Block Parents at the discretion of the Area
    To replace damaged signs
    To make personal house calls on Block Parents
    To deliver newsletters and bulletins to Block Parents
    To watch for “For Sale” signs. Picks up Block Parent signs from Block
      Parents who are moving – calls on newcomers to explain the program

School Chairman
    To be responsible for the Block Parent Program in her school area
    To be responsible for searching out new Block Parents, telephone and
       personal contact with existing Block Parents with the aid of school committee
       members or street reps (if applicable)
    To promote an active ongoing program in the education of the citizens, the
       Block Parents and children of the neighbourhood
    To develop ways and means of thanking Block Parents
    To be responsible for distribution of applications in school area
    To maintain a confidential list of approved Block Parents in her area
    To deliver signs to new Block Parents and replace faded or damaged signs
    To be responsible for instructing all Block Parents in the school area
    To attend meetings of other organizations as a guest speaker as required

School Representatives
    To act as a liaison between the Block Parent Program and the local school
    To work with the school to organize school presentations
      To keep updated records of school presentation dates and all correspondence
       with the school
      To prepare student handouts prior to each presentation
      To fulfill the same duties as an Area Captain if there is no Area Captain or
       Area Rep

Past Chairman
    To serve as an advisory to the Committee Members
    To act as Chairman of the Nominating Committee
    To attend meetings of other organizations as a guest speaker as required

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