Frequently Asked Questions
A. FAQ for Volunteers
- What is Big Brothers Big Sisters?
- What qualifications do I need?
- What is the level of commitment involved?
- How long will I be asked to volunteer?
- Do I have to spend any money?
- What sort of support will I receive for the agency?
- How intrusive is the background check?
Answers for Volunteers:
A.1 What is Big Brothers Big Sisters?
If you're looking for a fun and exciting way to make a BIG difference
in the life of a child, Big Brothers Big Sisters may be just what you
are looking for. Every child deserves to have a person in his or her
life to count one... someone who will take the time to listen, to help
develop a positive self-image, enhance their sense of well-being and
provide hope and encouragement. Since 1967, our agency has been in
the business of forming friendships between caring, responsible
adults, like you and children primarily from single-parent homes
throughout Wood County.
We hear from former "Little Brothers" and "Little Sisters" all the
time, who credit their "Big" with having a dramatic effect on their
lives. As a volunteer, you can subtly influence a child's interest
in a life-long hobby; help a child avoid alcohol or drugs, and put
hope into his or her future.
A.2 What qualifications do I need?
Volunteers need to be at least 18 years old or a high school
graduate, have access to transportation and enjoy being with
children. You must also be dependable and responsible. Mature
16 and 17 year-olds can also become Big Brothers or Big Sisters if
they have a valid driver's license and parental support. Volunteers
in the School Buddy Program do not need to be 18 or older or have a
valid driver's license.
A.3 What is the level of commitment involved?
As a Big Brother, Big Sister, Big Couple, you are free to decide
your own meeting schedule with your "Little". The days and time you
spend with your "Little" are up to you, we ask only that you maintain
consistent contact. Ideally, the child would appreciate an
opportunity to spend three to four hours with your "Little" every
week to 10 days. For School Buddies you have a set day and time that
you will need with your "Little Buddy". Meeting times are once a
week either over a lunch hour, or before or after school.
A.4 How long will I be asked to volunteer?
We require volunteers to commit for at least one year. A School
Buddy must commit to that school year. This amount of time allows
you to develop trust and stability in your relationship. Remember,
many of our children have already lost an important adult in their
lives. We don't want our volunteers to disappoint a child by ending
a relationship just as it starts to develop.
A.5 Do I have to spend any money?
The only cost to you is your time. But, it's not giving up your
time, it's including a child in things you're already planning to
do. We encourage volunteers to spend little, if any, money on
activities. However, volunteers and their little can be reimbursed
for the cost of many activities by the Big Brothers Big Sisters
Agency. The only cost to volunteers in the School Buddy Program
is your own transportation.
A.6 What sort of support will I receive from the agency?
Generally, you, the parent, and child will have monthly contact with
your case manager to make sure things are going well with your and
your "Little". If you should ever have a question, concern or need
advice, and your case manager isn't available, you may call the
Executive Director at the Marshfield office (715) 387-6198. Our
staff is always available to encourage your relationship in any
way we can.
A.7 How intrusive is the background check?
Parents entrust their children to us and rely upon our judgment to
ensure that their child will be safe when they spend time with a
volunteer. Because our program encourages adults to spend
unsupervised time with their "Little", we need to take certain
precautions to ensure the child's safety. Don't worry, all
information we collect remains in total confidence, and we take
into consideration your age at the time of an incident, and current
Feel free to contact us
with questions and/or comments.