When people think of mentoring programs, they think of Big Brothers Big Sisters. As an established youth organization, for more than 100 years we’ve worked to develop youth mentoring programs that work. Our experienced approach to recruiting, screening, matching and supporting our mentoring relationships has resulted in thousands of lasting relationships, and helped change the lives of young people across the country.
A study on the Big Brothers Big Sisters youth organization found that kids matched with a Big Brother or Big Sister:
- Are more confident
- Are more likely to steer clear of drugs and alcohol
- Do better in school
- Get along better with their family and friends
- Feel better about themselves. *
Parents/Caregivers are our Partners in Success
We’ll work closely with you because your input is important. Not only do you provide information about your child’s strengths and needs, but you approve the selection of their Big Brother or Big Sister.
Once the match is made, parents remain closely involved in several key ways, including:
- Approving match activities and supporting your child’s involvement
- Asking your child questions about the match meetings, and reporting any concerns to the agency staff
- Regularly reporting back to the agency about your child’s progress and milestones in the match relationship – Big Brothers Big Sisters will contact you regularly, but we welcome your feedback at 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.
The safety and well-being of the children we serve is Big Brothers Big Sisters’ highest priority. We strive to achieve the highest quality possible in matching a child to a caring volunteer Big, and in providing ongoing professional support services to our children, parents and volunteers.
To help ensure child safety, Big Brothers Big Sisters National Standards of Excellence require the following steps to be taken :
Each volunteer must complete a thorough screening process that includes:
- Completion of a formal written application
- A criminal history record check
- References Checks
- An in-person interview
- An assessment of their home environment (for community-based mentoring)
- A professional assessment of their appropriateness to volunteer with a child
- A mandatory mentor education session
An orientation and training process that outlines the individualized needs of your child and provides information and resources on how to encourage your child’s healthy development
Big Brothers Big Sisters also provides child safety tips to you and your child, and we welcome your questions and feedback. Throughout the life cycle of the match, our professional staff will be in ongoing communication with you, your child, and your child’s Big. Our staff and your child’s Big, with your support, are committed to the healthy growth and development of your child.
Big Brothers Big Sisters conducts a thorough background check on every volunteer in our mentoring programs and every match is supported by a Mentor Manager who regularly monitors and communicates with all the stakeholders involved in a match.
Marsha Tom, Director
* Tierney, J.P., Grossman, J.B., and Resch, N.L. (1995) Making a Difference: An Impact Study of Big Brothers Big Sisters. Philadelphia: Public/Private Ventures