Bigs are adult friends and role models, not parents. That’s why we work with you every step of the way. We regularly check in with you to see how things are going. You have the final say on every decision made.
- Children in the Big Brothers Big Sisters program must meet two of the following three requirements:
Enroll your child. We listen to and honor a parent’s wishes about the type of Big that will be matched with your child, whether it be race, age, culture, neighborhood, religion, or any other concern.
If your child is put on a waiting list, we will check in with you every six months to see if you are still interested in matching your child. Be assured that any child on the waiting list is someone that we are trying hard to match. Sometimes it can take a while to find the right mentor.
When a potential “Big” is found, a meeting with you, the child, the new Big, and the Match Support Specialist or Program Manager is arranged for all of you to meet together. If you don’t feel comfortable with the person, you have the right to say “no, let’s keep looking.” You can say you don’t want to continue the match at any time.
For the first three months, the Big and Little do things out in the community while they get to know each other. The Big is not allowed to take them to their home during that time. The Big and Little should be meeting about once a week.
After six months, the Big is allowed to take them on an overnight trip or out of town with your permission. A parent permission form must be signed and given to the Match Support Specialist before they go.
Every month for the first year, your Match Support Specialist will call you and your child separately to see how things are going. If there are any issues or concerns, please tell her/him. After the first year, she or he will call you every three months.
You can call the Match Support Specialist ANY time you have a question or concern.
- Qualify for free or reduced lunch at school
- Come from a single-parent or non-traditional family (i.e. grandparent led, foster family, special needs, etc.)
- Have a history of parental incarceration
Our goal is to have every match last at least one year. Many of them last for many years. You must feel comfortable in order for that to happen. When it does, the whole family benefits.