For over 40 years, the Block Parent® Program has been helping to make our communities safer. Throughout Canada, the red and white Block Parent® sign is a symbol of a safe refuge where assistance is available. Police, government departments, educators, sponsors and volunteers support the Block Parent® goal of providing safer communities for children and other citizens.
The mission of the Block Parent® Program is to provide immediate assistance through a safety network and offer supportive community education programs.
The mandate of the Block Parent® Program is:
to provide a network of police-screened, easily recognizable, safe homes for members of the community, especially children, to turn to in times of distress;
to educate children about the Program, safety on the streets and safety within the home;
to develop promotions and materials to educate the community about the Program, latch key children and streetproofing; and
to work together with the police, educators and other community groups toward safer communities.
The Block Parent® Program of Canada Inc. (BPPCI) is an affiliation of 12 registered Block Parent® Committees, one from each Province and Territory. In turn, these committees have over 900 community members across Canada. Each committee operates the Block Parent® Program in accordance with the Bylaws and Policy of BPPCI.
BPPCI is a Canadian registered charity, Registration Number: 89264 4477 RR0001. Operated by volunteers with over 300,000 police-screened participants, the Block Parent® Program is the largest, volunteer-operated, child safety, crime prevention program in Canada.
What are the goals of the Block Parent® Program?
Block Parent® volunteers are working together to:
expand the network of Block Parents until there are several Block Parent® homes on every block in every community in Canada; and
teach children and adults streetproofing tips. Education is the first step to safety!
What is not expected of a Block Parent®?
Block Parent® volunteers are not expected to:
provide food, drink, toilet facilities or transportation
administer first aid
leave their home to break up a fight
open their door to anyone if they feel uneasy about the situation
What does a Block Parent® do?
A Block Parent® may be called upon to offer their home as a place of safety when someone is in a dangerous or frightening situation such as:
lost, hurt or ill
caught in severe weather
frightened by a stranger
A Block Parent® assists persons in distress by telephoning the appropriate emergency service (police, fire, ambulance, etc.) when necessary.
The first Block Parent® Program began in London, Ontario in 1968. The Program rapidly expanded across Canada over the next five years. In 1983 a national committee was formed and the Block Parent® Program of Canada became incorporated in 1986.
BPPCI operates in Canada with an affiliate in Belgium. Our Program is recognized internationally as a quality child safety program. We have assisted foreign governments and police forces in establishing similar child safety programs overseas and continue to respond to request of information.
How does the Block Parent® Program work?
Block Parents are responsible adults who care sufficiently about the well-being of children and others to volunteer their homes as a temporary refuge in an emergency. All Block Parents are screened by the police and are given instructions on the program by local volunteers. The Block Parent® window sign is shown only when someone over the age of 18 is available to answer the door. If the sign is not displayed, this does not mean that no one is home, only that the Block Parent® is not available to offer immediate assistance. In addition to the primary goal of making communities safer for children, the Block Parent® Program deters criminals and trouble makers. The network of Block Parent® homes is a visible reminder that citizens are watchful in their neighbourhood.
Start up Meeting
Since the program disappeared in the West Grey area, its presence has been missed, but now a Durham man is bringing it back. Art Cousins is helping the program get back on its feet in Durham.
A meeting is scheduled for Nov. 18 at 7:30 pm at Spruce Ridge School, and anyone who wishes to support the program and/or learn more about it is encouraged to attend.
The Block Parent program for Durham has already been approved, and now Cousins is seeking funding. If you would like to make a donation before the meeting takes place, contact Art Cousins at 519-369-6197.