How Volunteers are Matched One-on-One with a Child
How Will I Be Matched With a Child?
The enrollment and interview process helps us to get to know your preferences as well as the situation best suited for you. It also provides you with an orientation to the program, where you get to know us and the program structure and expectations. We take into account your personality, likes, dislikes, age preferences, background, and location. But the final decision on being matched with an individual child is yours.
How do children come into the program?
Children and parents may hear about BBBS from a teacher, a counselor, their church, a friend, commercials, etc. All children and their parents choose to be in our program. Our staff conducts an individual needs assessment with each child prior to matching with a volunteer.
Who are the children in the program?
Our Little Brothers and Little Sisters come from many types of home environments and family structures, different social-economic levels, ethnic backgrounds, neighborhoods and schools. Their backgrounds and personalities are unique, but they all have a need for additional guidance and friendship with a caring adult.
What’s it Like to be a Big Brother or Big Sister?
When can I see my Little?
Our Bigs and Littles decide together what they want to do and they get parent approval. We recommend that you keep a consistent schedule of outings and that you see each other on a regular basis. (2-4 times per month). Until your relationship is established, the outings will also depend on the comfort level of your Little’s parent, your Little, and you. If your Little is younger, a shorter outing might be better. Your match support specialist will go over other agency guidelines regarding match activities. Volunteers in our school-based program will see their Little during the school day for about an hour a week.
How much money should I spend?
We discourage you from spending a lot of money on your outings. The goal of the relationship is friendship. You should focus your time on getting to know each other. We encourage you to seek out free or low-cost activities, especially in the beginning. BBBS offers group activities that are a great way to meet other Bigs and Littles! You may also receive notices for opportunities for free tickets for your match to attend a variety of cultural and sports activities.
Can I bring my spouse/friend/family member on outings?
If you are a married couple, you can mentor together as a family. If you are mentoring as an individual, in the beginning it is important for you and your Little to get to know each other. This can happen best on a one-to-one basis. Over time it is also valuable for your Little to get to know the people who are important to you and you may want to include your Little in activities that you share with your friends or family. Remember that the main focus is the friendship YOU have with your Little.
What kind of support can I expect from BBBS once I get matched?
Once you are matched with your Little, a Match Support Specialist from the agency will be in regular contact with you to provide assistance and give feedback. Anytime you are unsure about what to do or how to handle a situation, you will have a Match Support Specialist there to help. You’ll receive ideas for activities, guidance for handling possible difficult situations, and feedback on how you are making a difference, just by showing up!
You will be joining over 240,000 other volunteers in the BBBS family nationwide!