Big Brothers Big Sisters serves the children who need us the most, including those living in single-parent homes, growing up in poverty, and coping with parental incarceration, though there is no standard reason for becoming a Little. Our professional staff interviews and accesses each child on a case-by-case basis.
How does Big Brothers Big Sisters help Kasaius?
When Big Brothers Big Sisters works to match a Little with a Big, we take into account the needs, personality, interests, and goals of both the child and the adult volunteer. We introduce the Little and his or her family to the Big slowly and make sure everyone is fully committed to the match before it is made official. Little Brother Kasaius is outgoing and up for anything, so he needed a Big who was creative and had a variety of interests.
Children like Kasaius get the most out of their one-to-one relationship with their Big when the Big, the parent or guardian, and the child talk openly with their Match Support Specialist. Working as part of the team helping the child succeed, the Match Support Specialist can help identify problems, brainstorm solutions, and connect the family with essential services.
When Kasaius’ Big Brother saw the email from BBBS saying that there were spots open in a free acting class, he jumped at the chance to take Kasaius. BBBS affiliates across the country provide activities for Bigs and Littles and also alert Bigs to opportunities in the community. This enables Bigs to get to know other Bigs, who might be experiencing similar things and who might have great suggestions for more new activities.
Screening and Training
Child safety is Big Brothers Big Sisters’ highest priority. To achieve the highest standards possible, we work constantly to review and strengthen our background check systems as new best practices in the industry emerge. We also make sure our Bigs and our staff have the training and resources they need to help Littles on their path to success.
How a Big Becomes a Big
Making the best possible match between Little and Big is critical to the growth and development of a child. But before we begin the matching process, we start by thoroughly screening potential Bigs.
Our standards require each volunteer to complete an extensive screening process that includes:
- Written application
- Background and reference checks
- In-person interview
- Orientation and training process
Big Brothers Big Sisters also provides child safety tips to you and your child, and we welcome your questions and feedback. Throughout the life of the match, our professional staff will be in ongoing communication with you, your child, and your child's Big.
After we accept Bigs, we find the Littles that would benefit the most from being matched with them (based on location, need, time spent on the waiting list, personality, scheduling, preferences, etc).
Parents/Guardians as Partners
Parents and guardians are not just part of the process, they’re part of the success.
When it comes to the future of our children and the well-being of our communities, we’re all in this together. So it should come as no surprise that we need the parents and guardians of Littles to be involved every step of the way, starting with the initial match. Not only will you provide information about your child’s strengths and needs, but you’ll also approve the selection of the Big Brother or Big Sister.
Once the match is made, you remain closely involved in many ways, including:
- Approving activities and outings for your child and their Big
- Asking your child questions about those outings, and sharing what you learn with the agency staff
- Reporting your child’s progress and milestones to the agency on a regular basis (Big Brothers Big Sisters will contact you, but we welcome your feedback any time)
- Participating in training on child safety offered by Big Brothers Big Sisters staff, and communicating with your child about the training he or she receives.
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