It all starts with the right role models and Big Brothers Big Sisters is the place to start a friendship with one. For over 50
years, due in large part to private donations, Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Midlands has been able to recruit, screen, match, and
support mentoring friendships that have changed the lives of thousands of young people throughout the Omaha/Council
Bluffs metro area.
How does Big Brothers Big Sisters help Kasaius?
When Big Brothers Big Sisters works to match a Little with a Big, we take into account the needs, personality, interests, and goals of both the child and the adult volunteer. We introduce the Little and his or her family to the Big slowly and make sure everyone is fully committed to the match before it is made official. Little Brother Kasaius is outgoing and up for anything, so he needed a Big who was creative and had a variety of interests.
Children like Kasaius get the most out of their one-to-one relationship with their Big when the Big, the parent or guardian, and the child talk openly with their Match Support Specialist. Working as part of the team helping the child succeed, the Match Support Specialist can help identify problems, brainstorm solutions, and connect the family with essential services.
When Kasaius’ Big Brother saw the email from BBBS saying that there were spots open in a free acting class, he jumped at the chance to take Kasaius. BBBS affiliates across the country provide activities for Bigs and Littles and also alert Bigs to opportunities in the community. This enables Bigs to get to know other Bigs, who might be experiencing similar things and who might have great suggestions for more new activities.
Screening and Training
Child safety is Big Brothers Big Sisters’ highest priority. To achieve the highest standards possible, we work constantly to review and strengthen our background check systems as new best practices in the industry emerge. We also make sure our Bigs and our staff have the training and resources they need to help Littles on their path to success.
Children enrolled in the Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Midlands program for 12 months or longer showed the following outcomes:
Parents As Partners
You know what’s best for your child. So we’ll need your help from the start, providing information about your child’s strengths and needs, and ultimately approving the Big Brother or Big Sister match. But your role doesn’t end there.
When it comes to the future of our children and the well-being of our communities, we’re all in this together. So it should come as no surprise that we need the parents and guardians of Littles to be involved every step of the way, starting with the initial match.
Not only will you provide information about your child’s strengths and needs, but you’ll also approve the selection of the Big Brother or Big Sister. Once the match is made, you remain closely involved in many ways, including:
- Approving activities and outings for your child and their Big.
- Asking your child questions about those outings, and sharing what you learn with your Match Support Specialist.
- Reporting your child’s progress and milestones to the agency on a regular basis (Big Brothers Big Sisters will contact you, but we welcome your feedback any time).
- Participating in training about child safety offered by Big Brothers Big Sisters staff, and communicating with your child about the training he or she receives.
Safety from the Start.
Your child's safety is extremely important to us. Big Brothers Big Sisters conducts a thorough background check on every volunteer in our program, and every relationship is closely monitored and supported by a professionally trained match coordinator.
Making the best possible match between a Little and Big is critical to the growth and development of a child. Before we begin the matching process, we start by thoroughly screening potential Bigs.
Big Brothers Big Sisters National Standards of Excellence require each volunteer to complete an extensive screening process that
• Completion of a formal written application
• Background and reference checks
• An in-person interview
• 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 development.
Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Midlands 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. It’s the best way to build a strong relationship that will have the greatest impact on your child’s future success.
Child Enrollment Process
1) The parent/guardian calls or inquires online about the program and an in-home interview is scheduled with an Enrollment and Match Coordinator.
2) The Enrollment and Match Coordinator goes to the child's home and completes an interview with the child and parent/guardian to assess the child's personality, interests and needs.
3) Any school or counseling reports are faxed to the appropriate party so the agency gets plenty of information on the child's behaviors and needs from outside parties. This also helps determine if a child is eligible for our program.
4) Once all the paperwork is completed, we match the child with the best possible volunteer, based upon parent/guardian preferences, child and volunteer interests, personalities, etc.