By Sam Maxfield, Foster Care Enrollment & Match Coordinator
People often ask: What goes into making a match? A match is an adult mentor paired with a youth in our program. The Enrollment and Match Coordinators spend a LOT of time considering all the factors to ensure positive, healthy matches. We complete in-home interviews with the Bigs, the Littles and the families. Spending time getting to know our families and potential Bigs allows us insight to make the best matches possible. We are able to gain a clear picture of each individual.
We take into consideration all of the people involved in the match: the Big, the Little, and the family. Everyone involved should be compatible. We want everyone to “click and connect.” When people connect, the whole experience is even more powerful.
Interests and hobbies are a huge part of match processing. Sporty Bigs are matched with sporty Littles, artsy Bigs are matched with artsy Littles, and outdoorsy Bigs are matched with outdoorsy Littles. Bigs and Littles who share similar interests are able to participate in those activities together. They can share their talents and skills with each other. This helps the matches form a stronger bond and become a more impactful match.
Also Enrollment and Match Coordinators ask both the family and the potential Big about their preferences. Every person has different values and morals and we work to respect these. When the family and Big share these values, they help guide the child on the right path that is best for the Little.
The main factors we consider before matching are:
Lots and lots of work is put into making the matches so that both the Big and Little can form a long-lasting, healthy relationship. We find the connections which will ignite the potential in our Littles, Bigs, and families.