What is Big Brothers Big Sisters?
Big Brothers Big Sisters of Washington County (BBBS) is a non-profit agency, established in 1969, serving Washington County. The mission of the agency is to put hope in a child’s future by putting a friend in a child’s life. BBBS offers one-to-one mentoring to children between the ages of 7-18. Children may be matched in the School-Based or Community-Based mentoring program.
How is Big Brothers Big Sisters different from other mentoring programs?
Big Brothers Big Sisters of America (BBBSA) is the oldest and most highly respected youth mentoring organization in the nation, with over a century of proven success. Locally, Big Brothers Big Sisters (BBBS) has been serving Washington County children since 1969. During a thorough intake process, professional staff gets to know the children and volunteers in the programs. The Enrollment/Match Specialist makes matches based on personality, shared interests and volunteer and parent preferences in an effort to make compatible, quality matches that will result in long term friendships. After the match is made, the agency provides ongoing, professional support and resources to volunteers and families throughout their involvement with BBBS.
I don’t live in Washington County – is there a program near me?
BBBS agencies are located throughout America, including in surrounding counties and the entire state of Wisconsin. To find an agency location near you, please visit the national web site at www.bbbsa.org.
What is a “Little Brother or Little Sister”?
A “Little” is how BBBS refers to the children enrolled in the mentoring programs. Little Brothers and Little Sisters are children at least 6, in first grade and no more than 14 years old at the time of inquiry. They have the need for guidance, friendship and the positive attention of another adult. Littles usually live in one-parent family situations as the result of death, divorce, desertion or disability and reside in Washington County. Children may also come from two-parent families under special circumstances.
Why should I enroll my child as a Little?
Children who enroll in Big Brothers Big Sisters can benefit from having another consistent adult who can be a friend, role model and guide who will help a Little succeed in life. Studies have shown that a child who has a one-to-one mentor will be more likely to succeed in school, say no to drugs and alcohol and will get along better with their families and peers. Mentoring can also help a child improve in self confidence, self esteem, and competence and become contributing community members.
What mentoring options are available for a Little?
A parent can choose from either Community-Based mentoring, School-Based mentoring or the LifeSmith Program. A Little enrolled in the Community-Based mentoring program meets with an individual, couple or family “Big” twice a month for several hours for at least a period of a year with the hope that the friendship becomes life-long. A Little enrolled in the School-Based mentoring program meets with an individual “Big” once a week over the lunch period at school during the length of the school year, with the possibility of renewing the match the next school year.
What are the requirements for being a Little?
A Little must live in Washington County and be at least 6, in first grade and not more than 14 at inquiry. A parent, guardian, teacher, school counselor, social worker or an adult friend can refer a child to become a Little, but parental permission is required for a child to be accepted into the program. Most Littles have an interest in wanting another adult friend in their life and are excited about the opportunity to be matched with a Big.
Is there a charge to be a Little?
No. There is no charge to enroll as a Little. However, Bigs are not expected to spend large sums of money on match activities. They are encouraged to do free or low cost activities.
How do I enroll a Little into the Big Brothers Big Sisters program?
Enrolling a Little requires the individual who is referring the child to complete a Child Inquiry Form. Simply go to ENROLL A CHILD or call the agency at 262-334-7896 to begin the process of finding your child a Big Brother or Big Sister.
How soon will I be matched with a Big Brother or Big Sister?
It is simple to enroll a child – but it may take time to find just the right match. Children and adults are matched by where they live, their age preference and activities they enjoy. There is no set time limit to make a match. BBBS asks for the family’s patience during the waiting period.