April  2020

From the Waterloo Regional Block Parent® Program regarding the COVID-19 crisis

Dear Block Parents and Volunteers of the Block Parent Program

This is a new and uncertain time for all of us here in Waterloo Region; as well as in our province, our country, and the world. As we spend our days coming to terms with our “new normal”, Block Parents is reaching out to you to send positive thoughts and to offer support to you in your role as a volunteer with our program.

Because our program focuses mainly on students, schools, active transportation, and pedestrian and road safety skills, the Block Parent Board of Directors has decided to put a pause on all programs until our Region’s schools re-open. What does this mean for you? We have outlined a few changes below with regards to your window sign, your police records checks, recruiting new Block Parents, and re-certifying current Block Parents. Aside from these small adjustments, we want you to know that our Board will continue to meet virtually, hold our AGM as planned (but unfortunately without guests), be present on social media, and to make plans for when we return to full capacity when students return to school.

WINDOW SIGNS: As a Block Parent, we want to re-iterate to you that you are under no obligation to put your Block Parent sign in your window. You must always put your safety, the safety of your family, and your comfort level first. If you want to refrain from putting your sign in your window for the duration of this crisis, please take it down and put it away in a safe place. If you want to leave your sign in your window when you are home and available, you are welcome to do that, but we encourage you to speak to your neighbours while respecting physical distancing recommendations from our Public Health officials.  This could mean engaging with someone in need through the screen door, the window, or through the glass. Your safety and level of comfort as a volunteer for the Block Parent Program is our priority.

RE-CERTIFICATION: Waterloo Region Police Services is not processing Police Records Checks (PVSCs) at this time, and because police stations are currently closed to the public, PVSCs cannot be physically picked up from your local station.  If you have been asked to update your PVSCs, or if you’re planning to update your PVSCs in the next few months, please know that we will not be requesting them from you at this time. We will connect with you again to let you know when to update your PVSCs, based on updates from the Police Service.

NEW BLOCK PARENTS: Because our community is practicing physical distancing, and in-home training cannot be conducted, we are unable to actively and safely recruit new Block Parents at this time. If someone you know would like to become a Block Parent, please ask them to email contact@blockparents.ca

OTHER PROGRAMS: Until schools re-open, both the Walking School Bus program and the Pedestrian and Road Safety Skills programs we partner with have also been paused. We support these decisions and look forward to re-launching the programs again once students return to school.

While we take this pause with our programs, we want you to know that we are here, we are available to take phone calls and emails, and we are here to answer any questions or concerns that you might have.

From the Board of Directors to you and your families, please stay active, healthy, and safe!

Mission

Building Safer Communities, One Block at a Time

The Waterloo Regional Block Parent® Program provides programs and services that build safe, connected, and engaged neighbourhoods that encourage children, and their communities, to embrace a more healthy and active lifestyle in the Region of Waterloo

Vision 

A connected and engaged neighbourhood where community members help create a sense of safety, resiliency, and independence in our children

 

“Block Parents Program: Still Here, Still Needed, Still Working!

Collaborating to build safe, connected and engaged neighborhoods

Published 03/10/2020” 

 http://www.kwnow.ca/npps/story.cfm?nppage=3339