BE A BIG. GIVE A LITTLE SOMETHING BACK
We’re always looking for people eager to positively impact a child and improve their community at the same time. Big Brothers especially are in high demand.
For a few hours, a couple times a month, you can give a Little the invaluable gift of your friendship. By simply changing their perspective of what the world can offer, you can literally start changing their life. Play a board game. Make fun crafts. Hit the playground together. Just as your options are unlimited, so is your Little’s potential.
You have a big opportunity in front of you—to not only impact a child’s life today, but to transform their potential for tomorrow.
– Big Brothers Big Sisters of America
WE INSPIRE. IGNITE. EMPOWER
PROCESS FOR ENROLLING MENTORS
Potential mentors, are screened to ensure that we have the best fit for our Littles needs. Intake process for a BIG includes reference checks, completion of an in-depth in-person interview, background/driving record checks (both statewide and nationwide). The Guidance Center uses BBBSA National Program standards for processing screening information once it is received and any potential volunteer that has perpetrated a crime involving a child or dependent adult is immediately disqualified. The program also disqualifies adults who have committed a violent crime and those on parole or probation while considerations for other issues or concerns regarding the results of background checks are dealt with on a case-by-case basis.
Inquiring about becoming a Big
Orientation to Big Brothers Big Sisters programs
Completing the application
Background/Reference checks/collateral information
Interviewing with us
Participating in Pre-Match Training
HOW OFTEN DO MATCHES MEET, AND WHAT DO THEY DO?
BIG BROTHERS BIG SISTERS NATIONAL RECOMMENDS THAT MATCHES SPEND TIME TOGETHER FOR 4-12 HOURS/MONTH FOR AT LEAST ONE YEAR.
PROCESS FOR MAKING A MATCH
Mutual interests, personalities, abilities/needs of the child, parent/guardian preferences and geographic proximity are important factors in making a match. Because it is typical to have more female volunteers than males, boys may be matched with female volunteers as long as all match parties agree (parent, child, and volunteer) and the male child is under the age of 10. Girls will only be matched with female volunteers. Once program staff have identified a potential match, an initial match meeting will be arranged. The parent/guardian, child, and potential mentor will meet together for the first time with the BBBS Case Manager. All parties involved must give their approval for the match to become official. The initial match meeting will include structured activities, facilitated by the BBBS Case Manager, to help matches get to know one another. Once this match orientation event is held, a match commitment is secured from the Big, the Little and the parent. Volunteers are asked to make an initial commitment of one year, although matches are encouraged to continue the match in subsequent years.
ROLE OF THE BBBS CASE MANAGER
- Assist match parties in assessing the child’s needs and identifying and setting goals for the match
- Administer program assessments monitoring each child’s growth
- Ensure that each match is safe and beneficial by maintaining regular, systematic contact with the mentor, child, and child’s family
- Assist families in connecting to available community resources and services to meet their needs, as they are identified
- Offer training and ongoing support to mentors to help them develop supportive relationships with children served
- Plan and facilitate group activities for matches and their families
- Provide ongoing information to matches about free or low-cost activities and events
- Work with parents, youth, and mentors to resolve any problems or conflicts that may arise in the match
The BBBS Case Manager will maintain regular contact with each volunteer, participating child, and each child’s parent/caregiver throughout the life of the match, in order to foster and maintain growth of the relationship and to ensure that services are meeting each child’s needs. The Guidance Center follows BBBSA National requirements for maintaining contact. The mentor, child, and child’s parent/caregiver are each contacted within the first two weeks of the match and monthly thereafter for the first year. After the first year, match parties are contacted quarterly. Contact is typically made by phone. The BBBS Case Manager also facilitates a three and six-month in person match meeting, with all match parties to determine if the match is meeting all parties’ expectations. During the in-person meeting program assessments are administered to measure progress and program satisfaction. Match meetings take place annually after the first year.