Arm your child with another awesome adult. As a parent and guardian, you recognize the potential of your child better than anyone. By providing them with an extra caring adult, you’re continuing to help to set them on the path to success.
Follow these 5 simple steps to enroll your child:
Your questions, answered.
We’re here to help you every step of the way. View a full list of commonly asked questions to get the information you need. Contact us if you have additional questions.
By enrolling your child, we understand you are entrusting us to find the safest, most suitable mentor to place in their lives. The safety of your child is our highest priority. Big Brothers Big Sisters National Standards of Excellence require each volunteer to complete an extensive screening process that includes:
- Completion of a formal written application
- Background and reference checks
- An in-person interview
- An orientation and training process that outlines the individualized needs of your child and provides information and resources on how to encourage your child’s development
Throughout the life of the match, our professionally trained staff are in ongoing communication with you, your child, and your child’s Big to ensure and maintain a healthy, happy relationship for all parties.
Bigs and Littles are encouraged to get together at least two to four times a month for a couple of hours during days and times that work for both parties. We recommend matches to keep a consistent schedule of outings and to keep communication going on a regular basis.
Anything they like, with your approval. Activities are up to each Match to schedule and participate in on their own time. Common activities include going to get ice cream or going to a movie, playing catch or a video game, attending a sporting event or concert, hanging out at home and making dinner or running errands. We also hosts great match activities and parties that all Bigs/Littles are invited to. Our Bigs are also occasionally given free tickets to events.
The enrollment interview is a critical part to helping us get to know you and your child and both of your preferences for a mentor. Factors that go into the matching process include: personalities, likes, dislikes, age preferences, background, and location. Our team will call you with an in-depth profile of volunteer mentors they think would make a good match, but the final decision is yours to decide if you think the mentor would be the best fit for your Little. With over 100 years of creating friendships, we have truly perfected the matching process and pride ourselves on carefully-selected, safe, and quality matches.
Parents and guardians are an essential pillar for each Big and Little match – from everything to the enrollment process to the relationship’s success. Once your child has been matched, you need to remain closely involved by approving activities and outings for the match, asking your child questions about the outings and sharing what you learn with agency staff, reporting your child’s progress and milestones to the agency, and participating in training on child safety offered by Big Brothers Big Sisters staff.
Thanks to generous donors and community partners, Big Brothers Big Sisters is a free program for Littles and their families. Bigs often spend some money on activities with their Littles, however we strongly encourage no-cost or low-cost activities. Bigs will receive an email with a list of fun, free activities to do together and when available, tickets and special offers for community events and sports games!
It is important for your child and their Big to get to know each other on a one-to-one basis. By attending yourself or sending other siblings to tag along, the child may begin to feel jealous or neglected.
Absolutely. All Bigs are required to go through a pre-match training to prepare them for a mentor relationship with your child. Once matched, your child and their Big be are assigned a Match Support Specialist who will be in regular contact with everyone to provide assistance and give feedback every step of the way. Anytime you, your child, or the Big are unsure about what to do or how to handle a situation, your Match Support Specialist is there to help.
We do everything in our power to make a Match that we think will last. However, we realize that sometimes things come up, Bigs or Littles move, situations change or something doesn’t work out. We will attempt to mediate the situation, but if it doesn’t work out, we will end the Match. If this happens, your Match Support Specialist will be there to support you every step of the way and handle it in the best way possible.
Because of You
“Immediately I saw Teanna changing before my eyes. She became a smart, bold, beautiful, courageous, not scared of anything little girl that started growing up and really paying attention to the way that she acted and I totally attribute that to Max.”
– Kim, Teanna’s Mom