How do we find our volunteer mentors?
Our volunteer mentors (we call them “Big Brothers” or “Big Sisters”) come from all walks of life and from a wide variety of social, economic and ethnic groups. What they all share is the same drive to make a positive impact in the lives of young people.
What is the screening process?
Applicants are put through a rigorous screening process before being accepted into the program. The process includes an application, in-depth interview, national background check and reference checks, and finally a mentor orientation training.
How does Big Brothers Big Sisters match Bigs and Littles?
Big Brothers Big Sisters of FSW tailors each match by taking into account the interests, strengths, experiences, location and preferences of the volunteers to the unique needs of our Littles. Prior to matching, the volunteer, child and parent/guardian/caregiver are briefed on the match and must submit their pre-approval.
What kinds of activities will my child do with their Big?
We take into account both the Big’s and Little’s interests when making our matches, so your child will have some shared interests or activities with their Big that they can both enjoy together. We also encourage Bigs to find low or no cost activities to do with their Littles – things such as hiking, going to the library, or even just hanging out at the park. We provide our new Bigs with a suggested list of these activities upon orientation training.
How long is the program and when do the matches meet?
We ask that our Bigs meet with their Littles a minimum of 4 hours a month for a period of at least a year. The schedule of the meetings depends on the schedules of the Big and Little and his or her caregiver – we ask that the minimum number of hours per month be met, but leave it up to the match to create their a calendar around their own schedules.
How long will my child have his or her Big?
While we ask for a minimum commitment of a year, matches often run longer than the required time period; in fact, our matches average a period of 31 months in length. Occasionally, there will be a reason that a match may close early; however, our Mentor Managers do all that they can to help keep healthy matches going, and are a great resource for any issues or questions that may arise during the process.