As a parent, you realize the potential of your child better than anyone. By giving your child the opportunity to be a Little Brother or Little Sister, you’re starting them down a path to an even brighter, more promising future.
It all starts with the right role models. For over 50 years, Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Lakeshore has recruited, screened, matched and supported mentoring relationships in West Michigan that have changed the lives of hundreds of young people — one Little at a time.
You’ll feel the impact as much as your child.
Parents and Guardians are not just a part of the process, they are part of the success.
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. 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 the agency staff
- Reporting your child’s progress and milestones to the agency on a regular basis (your Match Support Specialist will contact you, but we welcome your feedback any time)
- Participating in training on child safety offered by Big Brothers Big Sisters staff, and communicating with your child about the training they receive.
Before we begin the matching process, we thoroughly screen all potential Bigs. Big Brothers Big Sisters National Standards of Excellence require each volunteer to complete an extensive screening process that includes:
- 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 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.