The Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Midlands Latino Mentoring program was established in 2008 after we recognized the need for targeted support for Latino youth. The program is designed to encourage, engage and sustain greater numbers of Latino youth, and recruit volunteers and families to join in.
We provide Latino youth with a caring Big Brother, Big Sister or Big Couple that can enrich their lives culturally, socially and academically, and support them reaching their potential through one-to-one mentoring friendships. We have multiple bilingual staff to cater specifically to Spanish-speaking families to ensure they are properly supported and informed.
Once a youth is matched with their Big, a Bilingual Match Support Specialist will be in regular contact with the Big, Little and parent/guardian(s) to provide support and feedback. They are dedicated and professionally trained to ensure safety and longevity of the match.
MENTORING YOUTH IN FOSTER CARE
The Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Midlands Mentoring Youth in Foster Care program was established in 2014 after we recognized the need for targeted support for foster care youth. Youth in foster care are among our nation’s most vulnerable young people.
Because of the disruption in their lives and the loss of support networks, foster care youth need many things, but perhaps most important, foster care youth need caring adults to guide and nurture them. We provide foster care youth with a stable, positive adult mentor who is a consistent presence in their lives and a source of support.
Special Eligibility Requirements:
- A BBBS FC Legal Guardian Release must be signed by the youth’s Family Permanency Specialist Supervisor (FPSS).
Once a youth is matched with their Big, a Foster Care Match Support Specialist will be in regular contact with the Big, Little and parent/guardian(s) or foster parent(s) to provide support and feedback. They are dedicated and professionally trained to ensure safety and longevity of the match. Our average match length for mentoring youth in foster care is nearly two years.
In 2016 we began making an effort to better serve LGBTQIA2S+ youth and families in our program. As an agency we participated in staff trainings and collaborated with local community partners to ensure we are following best practices and provide proper resources to the youth and families we serve. Since then, we have updated matching policies; shifted from a policy of nondiscrimination to a culture that is affirming and welcoming of all people, including the LGBTQIA2S+ community; and rethinking how we do our day-to-day work to better serve all youth.
We value diversity, and no person will be denied equal opportunity to volunteer because of race, sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression. Preferences, fit and similarity of interests are taken into consideration when matching individuals together. As part of the matching process, we will disclose such information to the parent/guardian. If preferences are not aligned, Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Midlands will work to find a Little who we believe will be a good match for you.
We will continually work to enhance our community-based mentoring program and agency as a whole to better support our LGBTQIA2S+ Bigs, Littles and their families.
MENTORING CHILDREN OF PRISONERS
This program provides caring adult role models to children coping with parental incarceration. Having a mom or dad in prison can make growing up more difficult. Children with an incarcerated parent often need additional support and guidance. As part of the Community-Based Mentoring program, Big Brothers Big Sisters Mentoring Children of Prisoners program helps broaden children’s perspectives on what they can achieve in life.
According to recent statistics, more than two million children and youth in the United States have at least one parent in a federal or state correctional facility. In addition to experiencing disruption in the relationship with their parent, these young people often struggle with the economic, social, and emotional burdens of the incarceration.
This program provides a caring adult role model to children that have had some contact with the juvenile justice system. Our professional staff members, supporters, families, and advocates support, encourage and champion the relationships between Bigs and Littles. Bigs help teach their Littles right from wrong and help them make good decisions.