Frequently Asked Questions
What is Big Brothers Big Sisters of Bath/Brunswick?
Big Brothers Big Sisters of Bath/Brunswick is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to pairing adult mentors with children between the ages of 6 and 18. BBBS of Bath/Brunswick seeks to provide children facing adversity with strong and enduring, professionally supported one-to-one mentoring relationships that that ignite the power and promise of youth. We at are constantly working to create a community where all children achieve success because when our children succeed, we all succeed.
Is Big Brothers Big Sisters of Bath/Brunswick affiliated with Big Brothers Big Sisters of America?
Yes. Big Brothers Big Sisters of America is our parent organization, and they’ve been serving youth nationally for more than 100 years. BBBS of Bath/Brunswick continues that tradition by matching volunteer mentors with children facing adversity, enabling them to realize their full potential.
Does the program work?
Yes! Mentoring is one of the most effective means of positively influencing a child's future. Local outcomes for Littles mentored by a Big are impressive:
- 82% showed improved self-confidence
- 80% were better able to express their feelings
- 66% developed better decision-making skills
- 63% improved their academic performance
Our goals are simple—to develop caring, confident, competent children who stay in school, off drugs, and out of trouble, by matching them with the caring, consistent, safe role models they need.
How do children come into the program?
Children and parents may hear about Big Brothers Big Sisters from a teacher, a counselor, a community group, a friend, etc. All children and their parents must want to be in our program.
Our Littles come from many home environments and family structures, socio-economic levels, ethnic backgrounds, neighborhoods, and schools in our service area of Brunswick, Harpswell, Arrowsic, Bath, Bowdoin, Bowdoinham, Georgetown, Phippsburg, Richmond, Topsham, West Bath, and Woolwich. Their backgrounds and personalities are unique, but they all need friendship with a caring adult who believes in them.
What is the role of a Parent/Guardian of a Little?
When it comes to our children's future and our community's well-being, we’re all in this together. We need the parents and guardians of Littles to be involved every step of the way, starting with the initial match. Not only do parents and guardians provide information about each child’s strengths and needs, but they also approve the Big Brother or Big Sister selection. Once the match is made, parents and guardians remain closely involved in many ways, including:
- Approving activities and outings for the Little and their Big
- Asking the child questions about those outings, and sharing what they learn with the agency staff
- Reporting a child’s progress and milestones to the agency regularly
- Participating in training on child safety offered by BBBS of Bath/Brunswick, and communicating with the child about that training.
What is the cost to participate in the program?
No cost! Our program is offered to families free of charge.
Why are some children on a waiting list?
A child may be on our waiting list after either inquiring to be a Little or after they have been enrolled for several reasons. We may not have a Big ready to be matched within proximity to the child's location or with the same interests. We strive to find the perfect match for each child, which sometimes takes a little more time.
How often will a volunteer Big meet with a Little?
BBBS of Bath/Brunswick asks our volunteers in our Community-Based program to meet with their Little 4-8 hours a month. This can be done weekly or every other week. Volunteers in our School-Based program meet with their Little for 45 minutes weekly in a school environment.
What is the screening process for volunteers?
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 the child and provides information and resources on how to encourage a child's development
How are Bigs and Littles matched?
Our match support program managers spend considerable time getting to know our Bigs and Littles to make the best possible match. Littles and Bigs are matched based on proximity, personality, and shared interests, while simultaneously considering the child's needs and our volunteers’ strengths.
What do Bigs and Littles typically do together?
Just about anything they both enjoy. Bigs are friends, and with a friend you can play sports, watch a movie, bake cookies, hike, do school work, wash the car, volunteer in the community, or just sit and talk. Additionally, the agency provides free group match activities in which Bigs and Littles may participate.
What type of training and support do you offer your volunteers?
Each volunteer is provided with an orientation before being introduced to their Little. A match support program manager is assigned and is available to answer questions or provide additional training and resources for concerns of particular interest to the match. The manager will support throughout the match relationship and regularly touch base with Bigs, Littles, and the Little's parent/guardian.
Who Can I Contact with More Questions?
Please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 207-729-7736.