As a parent, you recognize the potential of your child better than anyone. By giving your child the opportunity to be a part of Big Brothers Big Sisters, you’re starting them down a path to an even brighter future.
PARTNERING WITH BIGS
Our team is here to answer your questions, help you determine if a Big is a good fit for your child, or assist you in completing an enrollment application. Please complete the preliminary enrollment form below or call us at (231) 946-2447.
We look forward to working with you!
LEARN MORE ABOUT BIGS
SAFETY FROM THE START
Child safety is our #1 priority!
Your child’s safety is our highest priority. Big Brothers Big Sisters (Bigs) conducts a seven point background check and screening process on every volunteer in our program, and every relationship is closely monitored and supported by a professionally trained Mentoring Specialist.
We focus on child safety by providing:
- Thorough, professional screening of each volunteer, including completion of a formal application, criminal history and driver’s record checks, personal references, an in-person interview and home assessment.
- Child safety and child abuse prevention education programs for volunteers, parents and children.
- Guidelines that establish appropriate boundaries and respect a child’s right to feel safe.
- Ongoing Bigs Mentoring Specialist contact with each party in the match. This helps provide up-to-date information about safety issues and early warnings of potential problems throughout the match relationship.
Each volunteer must complete a thorough screening process that includes:
- Completion of a formal written application
- Criminal history record check and a driver’s license record check
- Personal references
- In-person interview
- Home assessment
The Bigs’ Mentoring Specialist maintains required consistent scheduled contacts with each member of the match party monthly during the first year of the match and quarterly thereafter. These conversations serve not only to measure the health of the match, but to discuss any concerns, challenges, or ideas. Mentoring Specialists are also available at any time to help with questions or concerns.
As a parent or guardian, you recognize the potential in your child better than anyone. We’ll need your help from the start, providing your child’s strengths and needs and other pertinent information so that we can provide the very best mentoring experience possible. You will be the ultimate decision-maker, approving a Big Brother or Big Sister for your child, ensuring the safety and success of the match relationship.
- Children age six and older.
- The child must be a resident of, or attend school in Antrim, Charlevoix, Emmet, Grand Traverse or Kalkaska County.
- Legal custody issues must be clearly defined at time of enrollment.
- The child must agree to participate in the program.
- The parent/guardian must communicate consistently with Bigs’ team members and the mentor to support the development of the one-to-one relationship with a volunteer.
- The parent/guardian must be willing to follow program guidelines and respond to communications with the team at Bigs.
- The child has experienced a life event capable of derailing positive growth and development (abuse, incarceration or loss of a parent or sibling, chronic family poverty, lack of stable role models).
- The child is being referred to the program by a counselor, teacher or other advocate
- The child must be capable of establishing a relationship with a volunteer.
- The child must demonstrate a need to benefit from one or more of the following:
- experiences that promote social or emotional growth.
- strengthened academic skills.
- help developing positive relationships.
- self-esteem building activities.
- exposure to community resources/activities.
- support and attention of another stable adult.