FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
You may have some questions or concerns about becoming a BIG! Here are a few commonly asked questions and answers. If you have more questions, we would be happy to answer them!
HOW OFTEN DO BIGS AND LITTLES GET TOGETHER?
Bigs will choose a Little between 8-14 years old to meet with once a week for at least a year. All our Littles come from one-parent or non-traditional homes (raised by someone other than their parent).
WHAT SUPPORT IS PROVIDED TO OUR MATCH?
Once you are matched with your Little, your Case Manager will be in regular contact with you to assist you and provide feedback. Anytime you are unsure about what to do or how to handle a situation, you will have a Case Manager there to help. They will help you with ideas for activities, guidance for handling possible difficult situations, and feedback on how you are making a difference.
DO THE PARENTS AND THE CHILDREN WANT TO BE PART OF THE PROGRAM?
Parents that enroll their children in the BBBS program want the very best for their children. They see the benefits of introducing another caring adult role model in the life of their child. Many say that their children’s Bigs can talk to them about issues that are just difficult for a parent to address. That is why parents often say introducing a Big into their child’s life has not only changed their son/daughter’s life, but it’s impacted the entire family. BBBSHC only enrolls children who want and need the program and whose parents specifically want them to be in the program, so 100% of the children enrolled are ready and excited about being matched.
HOW DO I CHOOSE MY LITTLE?
This is what is really unique and great about BBBSHC. We don’t just select the next child on our list and match them with a Big. Each Big and Little are matched based on compatibility and proximity to each other but ultimately Bigs and Littles choose each other. Case Managers get to know each Big parent and child that enrolls in the program. They get to know their interests, hobbies, what they are looking for in a match and much more. This is crucial because once a volunteer is accepted into the program a Case Manager will begin searching for a few Littles that they think would make a good Match. They will then send in-depth profiles of the children to you and from there you ultimately decide which child you think would be the best fit to be your Little.
WHAT DO I DO WITH MY LITTLE?
Anything you like. Activities are up to each Match to schedule and participate in on their own time. You don’t have to spend a lot of money, it’s about the time. Common activities include going to get ice cream or going to a movie, playing catch or a video game, attending a sporting event or concert, hanging out at home and making dinner or running errands. We encourage Bigs to share time instead of trying to create new time. Bring your Little on activities you were already going to do. Keep it simple and focus on getting to know each other. Our Bigs are also occasionally given free tickets to events that Case Managers can distribute to Matches.
DO BIGS RECEIVE ANY TRAINING OR HELP ONCE WE’RE MATCHED?
Yes, your Home Visit will serve as an in-person training and will walk you through situational scenarios to help prepare you for your Match. In addition, your Case Manager will be there every step of the way to offer customized support as your Match progresses. We also partner with several organizations that provide workshops and trainings that are beneficial to all parties.
CAN I CHOOSE WHETHER I WANT A LITTLE SISTER OR LITTLE BROTHER?
We only make same gender Matches. Big Brothers are always matched to Little Brothers. Big Sisters are matched to Little Sisters and Big Couples are matched to Little Brothers.
WHAT IS A BIG COUPLE?
A Big Couple is a pair of Bigs who are in a long-term relationship and want to be matched together to the same Little Brother. Big Couples do not have to be married but must be is a long-term relationship for at least one year. This is a great option for couples that would prefer a shared experience as opposed to each of them having their own Little. We want our Bigs to integrate their Little into their lives and this often means your Little is spending a lot of time with your family and friends. The benefit of a Big Couple is now both Bigs have the option of going out one-on-one with their Little OR all three can go on outings together. Our Big Couples love the flexibility this gives their Match.
WHAT IF IT DOESN’T WORK OUT?
We do everything in our power to make a Match that we think will last. However, we realize that sometimes things come up, Bigs or Littles move, situations change, or something doesn’t work out. We will attempt to mediate the situation, but if it doesn’t work out, we will end the Match. If this happens, your Case Manager will be there to support you every step of the way and handle it in the best way possible.
HOW LONG CAN A MATCH LAST?
We ask for a minimum commitment of one year for each Match we make. Matches stay in the Traditional program until the Little turns 14. That is not the end though as many of the relationships often end up lasting a lifetime.