Think you might enjoy volunteering as a Big Brother or Sister? Here are the things every potential volunteer should know. After you read this, please call (318) 323-9034 for more information!
1. What are the requirements to be a Big Brother or Big Sister?
There are three main requirements that are necessary to become a Big Brother or Big Sister:
o You must be 18 years of age or older.
o Have a sincere desire to spend time with a child and follow through on a commitment.
o Go through a screening process that includes a criminal background check.
2. As a volunteer, will I be required to supply references?
Yes. You will be asked to supply the agency with three references. They must all be from people whom you have known for two years or longer, and they cannot be related to you.
3. How do I get started?
Before being matched with a child, all prospective volunteers are required to attend a free two-hour orientation/training session: Mentor Training and Sexual Abuse Education Workshop. These are offered regularly, with sessions available both in the evenings and on Saturdays (call our office for a schedule). During this session you will be given the opportunity to fill out a mentor application form and supply references.
If you want to know more about the program or about the benefits of mentoring but aren’t sure if you want to volunteer, feel free to attend this training to learn more. The workshop is a great way to find out what mentors can expect from the program. Also, feel free to call our office anytime! We can tell you more about the program and help you decide if it is a good match for your volunteer time.
4. What happens after this training?
Once Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northeast Louisiana reviews the information obtained in the training, references are quickly checked. After references respond to the agency, an interview is set up with the prospective “Big.” The interview is held at the agency at the convenience of the volunteer.
5. How are the matches made?
The matches are selected based on the traits and qualities requested by both the volunteer and the child. Both parties have an active role in selecting their mentoring partner.
6. How long does the match commitment last?
School-based volunteers are asked to commit for the duration of the school year. Community-based matches last a calendar year. If both parties agree to continue the match, the commitment will be renewed on a yearly basis.
7. What happens when a match is made?
Once a match is made, the agency stays very involved with its development. The case manager assigned to the match will contact both the child and the volunteer on a monthly basis. This contact will be used to make sure the match between “Big” and “Little” is productive, and everyone is meeting his or her commitment.