FAQs

Big FAQ

 

Eligibility

Be at least 18 years of age*;

  • Have a respectable driving record;

  • Have no felony criminal record, nor have been convicted of any crimes involving children; and

  • Commit to a minimum of 12 months once matched with a child**

*School Buddies program allows high school students who are 16 years of age or older **School Buddies requires a commitment of one school year (typically September through June)

 

Who are the Littles?

  • Children between the ages of 6-16 years of age*

  • Each child wants to be in this program and can be referred to us by family members, schools, or community organizations

  • Littles are looking for special 1:1 attention to help them feel valued

*School Buddies Littles are 1st - 8th-grade students

 

 

Agency Involvement

Throughout your match, you and your Little will be professionally supported by our agency by your Match Support Specialist. This staffer will check in on a monthly basis with all parties to ensure safety and positive relationship development. 

 

Matching Process

Using information gathered from the Big, the family, and the Little’s interviews we consider factors such as background, activity level, personalities, and overall interests to make the best possible match. We pride ourselves on quality matches that sustain long term. 

 

What makes a great Big?

An awesome Big is someone who is curious and attentive, a person who is open to new discoveries and exploring the world with a Little. When it comes down to it, it’s not about the activities, it’s about the small moments spent one-on-one that can change a Little’s life. 

 

COVID Protocols

Your personal comfort level and mitigation factors are explored in your interview to pair you with a like-minded family. The agency suggests following your local public health guidelines*.

*School Buddies program must comply with all school mandates and protocols.  

 

 

 

Little FAQ

Eligibility

  • Child between the ages of 6 - 16 years old (child can remain matched in our program till they reach 18 and graduate high school or equivalent)*

  • Family and child who can commit to 8-12 hours a month with a mentor**

  • Have no significant history of violence or behavior issues

*School Buddies matches 1st - 8th graders and graduates out of the program upon completion of the 8th grade

**School Buddies spends one hour a week, during school hours, with their Big

 

Who are the Bigs

Our volunteers go through a multi-step enrollment process to ensure they are safe adults with clear background checks/driving records, positive references, and participate in an in-depth interview. They are not trained professionals, but caring members of our communities who want to offer one-on-one support to youth. 

 

What kind of background checks?

In addition to references, all volunteers and staff clear the following checks:

DPHHS Child Abuse/Neglect

National Criminal Background

Public Domain search

Motor Vehicle check

 

Matching Process

Using information gathered from the Big, the family, and the Little’s interviews, we consider factors such as background, activity level, personalities, and overall interests to make the best possible match. We pride ourselves on making the most compatible matches for the benefit of our Littles. 

 

What type of activities do matches do? 

Activities can include going out for ice cream, taking a cooking class, or exploring a new walking trail*! We have found that it’s not really the type of activity, but the time spent together is what makes the impact. The match is not to spend time in the Bigs home until matched for 90 days and we strongly encourage our families to visit the Bigs home before their first visit.

*School Buddies typically has the Big bring in activities such as no-bake cookies, maybe they shoot hoops on the playground or work on a puzzle in the library.  

 

Is there a cost?

There is no cost for the mentoring program. If you are able to contribute towards the cost of activities when the match is together, it’s appreciated, but not expected. The cost of activities is covered by the volunteer. 

 

COVID Protocols    

Your personal comfort level and mitigation factors are explored in your interview to pair you with a like-minded family. The agency suggests following your local public health guidelines*. 

*School Buddies program must comply with all school mandates and protocols.