Matches are asked to review the following policy in regards to high risk match activities. For any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact Kim Young at kim.young@bigbrothersbigsisters.ca or 519-438-7065 x6234.

Policy:
The Agency will provide guidelines to Mentors and families regarding high risk match activities in order to facilitate safe and appropriate match activities based on safety, risk mitigation and relationship to match goals.
Parents/guardians are fully responsible for granting permission for their child/youth to participate in any match activity. Mentors shall not engage with their Mentee in the Prohibited High Risk Activities set out in the Guidelines of this Policy. Mentors may only engage with their Mentee in the Permitted High Risk Activities set out in the Guidelines of this Policy with the prior approval of their Mentoring Coordinator and the prior written permission of their Mentee’s parent/guardian. Failure by the Mentor to comply with this Policy and Guidelines may result in the termination of the match.

Guidelines:

High Risk Activities
High Risk Activities are defined as those activities that carry a higher level of risk of injury than the child/youth would typically encounter in their daily lives. Many of these activities are not currently covered by the Agency’s insurance policy or are included in a list of activities that the Agency is strongly encouraged to discourage as match activities. Specialized training or certification and appropriate safety equipment is required for safe participation in many of these activities.

When engaged in a High Risk Match Activity, a Mentor shall ensure that the Mentee is at no time left without adult supervision.

For all water-related activities except for riding on a boat larger than 8 metres, the activity is only permitted in still or slow-moving bodies of water. Except for swimming, the use of life jackets by both the Mentor and the Mentee is required at all times while out on the water.

Prohibited High Risk Activities
A Mentor shall not engage in the following Prohibited High Risk Activities with their Mentee at any time:

  • Airplane rides (non-commercial)
  • Bungee jumping
  • Contact sports
  • Firearms activities (including hunting), except activities within a shooting gallery, which is a Permitted High Risk Activity as set out in the Guidelines of this Policy
  • Hang gliding
  • Horse jumping
  • Hot air ballooning (tethered or un-tethered)
  • Ice climbing
  • Mountain climbing (mountaineering)
  • Off-road vehicle use (ATV’s, snowmobiles)
  • Parachuting
  • Parasailing
  • Racing of any kind
  • Rodeo event activities (except as spectator)
  • White water rafting

Permitted High Risk Activities Requiring Agency Approval and Written Parental Consent
A Mentor may only engage in the following Permitted High Risk Activities with their Mentee with the prior approval of their Mentoring Coordinator, the prior written permission of the Mentee’s parent/guardian, and with the use of appropriate safety equipment:

  • Use of boats (other than paddle boats) – 8 m and under, except when used in an urban park setting
  • Canoeing, except in an urban park setting
  • Horseback riding (except horse jumping, which is a Prohibited High Risk Activity)
  • Open water activities (all swimming, snorkelling, scuba or other diving, water skiing/boarding or any other activity that may take place in open water)
  • Sea-dooing
  • Shooting gallery activities
  • Sling shots
  • Zip lining
  • Soap box derbies

A Mentor may contact their Mentoring Coordinator for input on whether a High Risk Activity that is not set out as either a Prohibited High Risk Activity or a Permitted High Risk Activity would be an acceptable or appropriate match activity with their Mentee.

Risk Mitigation Factors
All Permitted High Risk Match Activities must take into consideration the following risk mitigation factors:

  •  Minimum age for Permitted High Risk Activities is 12 years of age
  • Whether safety precautions are in place and the child/youth has a level of functioning that will enable him or her to comply with these safety precautions
  • Whether the child/youth has or can develop the basic skills required to succeed in the activity
  • Whether an appropriately equipped portable first aid kit is readily accessible
  • Standard safety equipment appropriate to the particular activity must be worn by the Mentor and the Mentee
  • If the Mentor and Mentee have engaged in the activity in the past, whether they complied with appropriate safety precautions

Procedure:
1. During training or during review of Match Activity Guidelines, all Mentors, families and youth will be made aware of Agency Policy and Guidelines regarding participation in High Risk Activities.
2. Any requests by the Mentor for match involvement in Permitted High Risk Activities must be made directly to the Mentoring Coordinator before discussion with the parent or youth. Participation must first be approved by the Mentoring Coordinator to ensure that the activity is permissible under Agency Policy and Guidelines. As part of the Agency approval process, the Mentoring Coordinator will take into consideration the Risk Mitigation Factors as set out in the Guidelines, with input by the Mentor. The Mentoring Coordinator must take the request and the proposed Agency response to her/his Supervisor for review and sign-off. Approval for the match to engage in a Permitted High Risk Activity is at the discretion of the Agency.
3. The Mentoring Coordinator must document that the request for the activity was made, that Risk Mitigation Factors were considered and Mentoring Coordinator approval given (or denied), and that the Agency received the written permission of the parent/guardian in the form required by the Agency for the child/youth to participate (if the High Risk Activity is one for which written permission is required under the Guidelines). The written parental consent must be retained on file.
4. During match support follow-up calls, the Mentoring Coordinator will ensure to question the Mentee and the Mentor on the activity, and the safety processes that were in place. The Mentoring Coordinator will document this information clearly as part of that follow-up.
5. If a Mentor contacts their Mentoring Coordinator for input on whether a High Risk Activity that is not set out as either a Prohibited High Risk Activity or a Permitted High Risk Activity would be an acceptable or appropriate match activity with their Mentee, the Mentoring Coordinator will take into consideration the Risk Mitigation Factors as set out in the Guidelines, with input by the Mentor and in consultation with other Agency staff as appropriate.
6. All accidents, injuries or damage must be reported immediately to the parent and/or legal guardian (if a child is involved), the Service Delivery Staff, and the appropriate authorities. Service Delivery Staff will complete a Risk Management Occurrence Form and forward it to the necessary Agency staff.
7. It is the responsibility of the Manager, Service Delivery to inform the Agency’s Manager of Finance of the incident as quickly as possible. The Manager of Finance will then ensure that the Insurance Company is informed as soon as possible.