To become a Little a child must be:
- Six (6) through fourteen (14) years of age at the time of intake (once matched, children can remain involved with our program through their 18th birthday)*
- A resident of Brunswick, Harpswell or Sagadahoc County
- Available to participate in activities with their "Big" on a regular basis (3-4 times a month)
- Able to make a minimum one-year commitment once they are matched
- Living in a single-parent family or need more adult support
- Able to form a friendship with an adult and like the idea of having a Big Brother or Sister
- The parent/guardian and child are able to communicate regularly by telephone with Big Brothers Big Sisters staff and the child’s Big Brother or Big Sister.
*There is a waiting list and the wait for a suitable "Big" may be considerable. Please be aware that a child who is 14 at the time of intake may age-out of the program before becoming matched.
Steps to Enroll a Child
Complete the Child Application Packet and return it to BBBS at 85 Maine Street in Brunswick.
Schedule an interview with BBBS staff to go over the application and chat about your child. We generally prefer to meet with parents/guardians first and schedule a later time to meet with the child. In consideration of busy schedules, alternative arrangements can be made.
Set up a time for staff to meet your child. Our goal is to get to know your child well enough to make the best match we can. Please note: these relationships are only successful when the child wants to be matched with a "Big".
Your child will be placed on our waiting list for a Big Brother or Sister. Please understand that the wait for a suitable match can be lengthy, as our ability to match children is entirely dependent on volunteers approaching our agency to get involved.
Your location and preferences regarding a potential "Big" may influence your child’s waiting time. BBBS staff remains in contact with families during the wait and may request updated information from time to time.
When we think we have a volunteer who would be a good fit with your child, we will share information about your child’s interests, personality and geographic location. If he or she agrees to the match, we will call you to share information about the potential volunteer to see if you think that he/she is a good fit with your child.
If you and your child agree that the potential volunteer sounds suitable, we will set up a match meeting to introduce everyone. At this point, the match relationship begins.
Once a match is made, Big Brothers Big Sisters high quality Standards of Practice require monthly contact with all parties involved in the match. These monthly check-ins are to make sure that the "Big" and "Little" are getting along well together, ensure child safety and to provide support to the relationship. This monthly contact is an important and required part of program participation. Our agency will always work for the best interests of the child.
Families as Partners
As a parent or care giver, you recognize the potential of your child better than anyone. By giving them the opportunity to be part of Big Brothers Big Sisters, you’re starting them down a path to an even brighter, more promising future.
When it comes to the future of our children and the well-being of our communities, we’re all in this together. So it should come as no surprise that we need the parents and guardians of "Littles" to be involved every step of the way, starting with the initial match.
Not only will you provide information about your child’s strengths and needs but you’ll also approve the selection of the Big Brother or Big Sister. 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 feedback with the agency staff
- Reporting your child’s progress and milestones to the agency on a regular basis
- Participating in training on child safety offered by Big Brothers Big Sisters staff and communicating with your child about the training he or she receives.