What sets BBBSCM apart from other mentoring organizations is that each Big and Little relationship is professionally supported by a Match Support Specialist (MSS) throughout the duration of the match. Match Support Specialists play a critical role in creating and sustaining matches for our programs. We strive to provide an excellent level of service for the Bigs, Littles, and families involved and it would not be possible without our incredible team of dedicated Match Support Specialists.
The goal of each MSS on our team is to create strong and enduring matches, keep safety as a top priority, and be a resource to both our Bigs and families we are serving. The Big and Little are both going to play an equal role in building their relationship, but the MSS is the person behind the scenes doing their part as well. From making the match at the very beginning to monthly check-ins, your MSS will be there through it all.
WHEN WILL I MEET MY MATCH SUPPORT SPECIALIST?
Our Match Support Specialists are assigned to different programs we offer. For example, one MSS may work only with matches from our Worcester Area College Mentoring Program, while another only works with Community-Based Mentoring matches. Depending on the program you are involved in, will determine who your MSS is.
When you are going through the application process, it is likely that the MSS you are working with will continue as your MSS throughout the length of your match. The MSS take the time to get to know both the potential Bigs and Littles during the application process. This ensures that they are matching Bigs and Littles with similar interests and personalities.
When it is time for the first match meeting between a Big and a Little, our MSS are there to make things as comfortable and smooth as possible. From there, they will check-in with you monthly either by phone or email. These monthly check-ins are a great opportunity for the Bigs to ask for any advice they may need. For example, “how do I get my Little to communicate more with me?” Or, “do you have any ideas of activities we could do together?” On the other side, the parents can share with the MSS what has been going on in the child’s life or anything noteworthy that would be helpful for a successful mentoring relationship.
WHAT TRAINING DO THE MATCH SUPPORT SPECIALISTS RECEIVE?
All MSS must complete a training upon the start of their employment at Big Brothers Big Sisters. The multi-step training is mandated by Big Brothers Big Sisters of America.
Match Support Specialists are trained in trauma informed care, foundations for youth protection, conducting and entering interviews, and a complete training on the overview of BBBS of America service delivery model. The National Service Delivery Model is the standard set forth by BBBS of America to conduct thorough match support with child safety as the top priority.
HOW DO I REACH MY MATCH SUPPORT SPECIALIST?
Once you are enrolled as a Big or your child is enrolled as a Little, you should keep the phone number and email of your MSS handy. You should feel like you can reach out to them at any point with questions or concerns. We don’t want you to feel like you need to wait until the monthly check-in to reach out to your MSS. Your MSS is there for you!
If you have more questions about Becoming a Big, visit: www.bbbscm.org/big
Read our full Guide to Becoming a Big and Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Mass & Metrowest here.