How Do I Become a "BIG"?
Becoming a Big Brother or Big Sister involves a one-year commitment from both you and your family. A series of steps are used to tell you more about the program and for us to learn more about you and your family. Here is a list of the steps:
You call Big Brothers Big Sisters and find out more about becoming a Big Brother or Big Sister. A staff member will discuss with you the program, different program options and answer any questions you may have. From here you can fill out at an application online or it can be mailed to you.
After reading through the information and thoughtfully considering the commitment involved, you then fill out the application and return it to Big Brother Big Sisters. The application is also available online at www.bbbsmqt.org. Once the application is received, the intake process begins.
Once your application is received, a trained staff member will perform the following background checks: a.) State background check b.) Local back ground check to the county prosecutor c.) Sex Offender Check d.) Driving record check e.) Social media check. f.) Reference checks
Upon return of the forms, the potential volunteer is contacted to set up the home interview. The home interview takes about one hour and it is by far the most useful tool in finding an appropriate match for you. A staff member talks with you, gathering information on you, your family, your friends, your interests and hobbies, and the type of child you would like to be matched with. The staff member can also use this time to meet and talk with any other members of your household. You will also be asked to provide us with a copy of your driver’s license and proof of insurance at this time for a motor vehicle record check.
After the interview, the professional staff will discuss all the information gathered and the final decision to accept or not accept the volunteer is made. The potential volunteer is notified by letter of his/her acceptance.
Once you have been accepted as a Big Brother or Big Sister, a staff member will call you with a profile of a potential Little Brother or Little Sister. Your profile will be discussed with the parent.
The volunteer and parent have the option of meeting for a brief session. This is a time where you can learn more about the child and the parent can learn more about you. If both agree to the match, a match meeting is set up. If a pre-match is not desired, a match meeting will be set up.
The match brings you together with your Little Brother or Little Sister for the first time. This meeting takes place at the "Littles" home. A staff member will be there to introduce you to the family, and to review the final agreements of the match. The staff member will assist in guiding you to set-up your first outing. From here, a staff member will call everyone about one week later to see how the first outing went.
Mentoring a child or teen helps guarantee them that there is someone who cares. A mentor gives the child assurance that he is not alone in dealing with day-to-day stresses and worries. In fact, current statistics indicate that for youth who have at least one stable adult, such as a mentor, in their lives:
45% are less likely than their peers to begin using illicit drugs
59% do better academically
73% set and attain higher life achievement goals than other kids their age
Frequently Asked Questions
How much time will i be expected to spend with a child?
We ask that you see your Little 4-6 hours a month. This can be on weekends, after school, evenings, or whatever works for you, your Little, and the Parent of your Little.
what types of activities can i do with a child?
The possibilities are endless! Our staff will try to match you to a child with similar interests, whether that be sports, arts and crafts, hiking, etc. We encourage free or low cost activities. Remember, some children may have limited life experiences. What seems redundant or boring to an adult, may be exciting and fun to a child.
Who Pays for activities when i'm with a child?
Big Brothers Big Sisters strongly encourages free or low cost activities. It is expected that you and your Little each pay for your own activities on outings. The agency frequently has it's own free events or tickets available to community events at no charge.
how is a match made?
After you have been accepted into the program, our staff will talk to you about a child that may be a good match for you, based on the child's needs, your preferences, common interests, and location. .
Can friends and family be included in outings with a child?
The majority of your time with your Little should be one-on-one, however, others may join on special occasions or events.
What if i have questions after i'm matched?
Every volunteer and child in our proram is assigned to a Match Support Specialist (MSS), who is responsible for making and monitoring the match. You can expect to hae contact with your MSS a minimum of once a month for the first year of the match, and every quarter after that. Your MSS will play an important role in supporting you match and will be available to answer questions and offer advice.
Do these children have a lot of problems?
The children are interviewed and screened upon their application to the program. If their problems appear to be too great for a volunteer to handle, they will not be accepted into the program.
Do these children really want a Big Brother or Big Sister?
Yes! They are familiar with the program and understand that a "Big" will be a special friend who is genuniely interested in them.