When it comes to the future of our children and the well-being of our communities, we are all in this together. Big Brothers Big Sisters of America has developed nationwide standards for risk management and youth protection. This includes the establishment of local policies and procedures that best protect youth, effective screening and selection of staff and volunteers, and professional monitoring of match relationships.
As a volunteer Big in our programs, you are required to receive training that all other Bigs across the country receive so we can ensure we are keeping our kids safe. We require you to attend that training prior to being matched. However, once you are matched, we strive to continually offer optional trainings and support to provide our Bigs with the knowledge they need when working with at-risk youth.
MATCH SUPPORT SPECIALISTS
Our highly qualified, specially trained match support professionals are responsible for helping to ensure that relationships between Littles and Bigs are developing in a healthy, safe way for everyone involved. They’re also responsible for helping guide mentoring relationships that will be enduring and enriching, and result in positive outcomes for youth.
Our ongoing match support process is extensive, and includes:
- Required match supervision by trained staff, including ongoing communication with match participants for the life of a match
- Professional monitoring of adherence to safety-related policies and procedures focused on maintaining appropriate boundaries and healthy relationship development
- Technology that tracks and monitors match activities and Littles’ progress in areas such as academics, avoidance of risky behaviors, socio-emotional development, and aspirations
Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Mass & MetroWest (BBBS) is committed to ensuring we recruit and retain a diverse group of volunteers and staff members that directly represent the community we serve. Our dedicated DEI Committee hosts trainings throughout the year in hopes of educating our Bigs, staff, and board on how to be inclusive of all. BBBS hired consultants who provide a facilitated “train the trainer” module for staff to be able to conduct these important trainings which will be offered to existing and incoming volunteers. Some of the topics that will be discussed in the trainings are topics such as implicit bias, microaggressions and how to handle difficult conversations. We look forward to implementing these trainings to fully live up to our mission, vision and values here at BBBS.
The BBBS Team has created an extensive compilation of resources on our website. These resources can be found on the “I’m a Big” section of the website. On that section we post our monthly newsletter sent to all Bigs filled with activity ideas. You’ll also find policy guideline refreshers, a Match Activity Booklet, Academic Activity Booklet, educational articles and so much more!
We also have a Facebook Group called BBBSCM Match Support. Once you are a Big, we invite you to join the group to connect with other Bigs. You’ll find posts being shared of activity ideas and plenty of photos of what matches have been up to! It’s a great way to connect with other Bigs.
BIG ID CARD
Another great resource that we are proud to offer to our Bigs is our Big ID Card. As a Big, you’ll receive a business card identifying you as a Big in our program. We have a selected number of local businesses who offer discounts when you present the Big ID Card. A few of the businesses you’ll find on the list are Claytime in Shrewsbury, Worcester Art Museum, Launch Framingham, Central Rock Gym and more!
If you have any further questions about the training process, you may email email@example.com.
Read our full Guide to Becoming a Big and Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Mass & Metrowest here.