Little Steps Lead To A Big Impact
When people think of mentoring, they think of Big Brothers Big Sisters. That’s because for more than 100 years we’ve worked to develop a youth mentoring program that works. 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.
Big Brothers Big Sisters of Elkhart County matches children between the ages of 6 and 14 with caring, committed volunteer mentors. Although we believe that every child can benefit from having a mentor in their lives, our program focuses on children living in homes with one or no biological parents.
Note: the guardian of the child must complete and sign the application.
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
Your child’s safety is very important to us.
Big Brothers Big Sisters conducts a thorough background check on every volunteer and every match is regularly reviewed by a professional Match Support Specialist.
Parents are our Partners
Parents and guardians are an integral part of the Big Brothers Big Sisters match at every step of the process. 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 the Big Brother or Big Sister. Once the match is made, parents remain closely involved in several key ways:
Approving match activities and supporting your child’s involvement.
Asking your child questions about the match meetings and reporting any concerns to 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 requires that each volunteer must complete a thorough screening process that includes
Big Brothers Big Sisters also provides child safety tips to you and your child, and we welcome your questions and feedback. Throughout the life 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.
Completion of a formal written application
A criminal history record check
An in-person interview
At least two references
An assessment of their home environment
A professional assessment of their appropriateness to volunteer with a child
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