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Parents and Caregivers

 

As a parent, you recognize the potential of your child better than anyone. By giving your child the opportunity to be part of Big Brothers Big Sisters, you’re starting them down a path to an even brighter, more promising future.

 

It all starts with the right role models. And Big Brothers Big Sisters is the place to start a relationship with one. For over 100 years, due in large part to private donations, we’ve been able to recruit, screen, match, and support mentoring relationships that have changed the lives of hundreds of thousands of young people across the country.

Eligibility and next steps

To participate in one of our programs, your child must:

  • Be at lest six years old or in Kindergarten and no older than a Senior in high school.
  • Be lacking the involved, supportive participation of two adults.
  • Be capable of establishing a one-to-one relationship with a volunteer.
  • Desire to participate in the program.

Next steps:

  • Click 'Enroll a Child' and a staff member will contact you.
  • We will ask you and your child to come to our office for an in person interview.

Programs

Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Ozarks offers four program focus areas:

  • Mealtime - for children in grades Kindergarten through middle school - your child will spend time sharing a meal and conversation with a volunteer a few times a month.
  • Academic Performance - for children in grades Kindergarten through Sophomores in high school - your child will spend time working on schoolwork with a volunteer a couple times a month.
  • Activity Based - for children ages eight through 14 - your child will spend time participating in activities with a volunteer a few times a month.
  • Future Readiness - for Sophomores, Juniors, and Seniors in high school - your teenager will spend time focusing on preparing for life after high school with a volunteer a couple times a month.

 

Your Role

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.

Child Safety

Making the best possible match between a Little and a Big is critical to the growth and development of a child. But before we begin the matching process, agency professional staff start by thoroughly screening potential Bigs.

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 the child and provides information and resources on how to encourage each child's development