Welcome To The Big Brothers Big Sisters of Moose Jaw F.A.Q Section
Below are some frequently asked questions regarding mentoring and volunteering with us. If you have any further questions or concerns please contact us so we can resolve them promptly.
What Is Mentoring All About?
First and foremost, mentoring is about being a friend to a child or youth.
How Do Mentors Make A Difference In The Lives Of Children And Youth?
Mentors make a difference in so many different ways! See our testimonials from mentees and their parents.
How Old Do You Have To Be To Be A Mentor?
You have to be 18 years or older to become a mentor in our programs.
Volunteering With Big Brothers Big Sisters
What Kinds Of Activities Do Mentors And Mentees Do Together?
We encourage mentors and mentees to choose activities they both enjoy. Caseworkers do their best to match mentors with a mentee, who has interests similar to theirs. We also organize group activities for matches and are sometimes given tickets to movies, sporting events, and cultural events which we offer to our matches.
Does Big Brothers Big Sisters Only Offer One-To-One Mentoring Or Are There Different Types Of Opportunities Available?
Big Brothers Big Sisters of Moose Jaw offers a wide variety of mentoring opportunities. View our program drop down menu to see what our agency provides.
Does Mentoring With Big Brothers Big Sisters Cost A Lot Of Money?
It does not have to. We encourage no-cost and low-cost activities, and in most matches it is not the responsibility of the mentor to pay for the child or youth. Group activities with other matches are scheduled on a regular basis. There are also low cost or free options provided to our matches that range from pool tournaments, to wall climbing, to Holiday parties.
What Can I Do If I Need Support With An Issue In My Match?
You will be assigned a caseworker, a trained professional who is there to support you in your match. You will be required to have regular contact with your caseworker, and we also encourage you to contact your Caseworker at any time to discuss how the match is going, what activities you are enjoying together, and any issues that you may be having.
Are Mentors Expected To Help Out With The Child Or Youth’s Personal Activities, Such As Bringing Them To Appointments, Helping Them With Homework, Etc?
No. Mentors may decide to help out with these types of activities now and then, but this is not a requirement.
Becoming A Volunteer
How Do I Get Started Toward Becoming A Volunteer Mentor?
Check out the mentor application page for an overview of whats involved.
Do You Accept Everyone Who Applies To Be A Volunteer?
No. As prospective mentors go through the application and assessment process, the agency may determine that a mentoring role is not right for them. Prospective mentors themselves may also decide the time is not right to take on this role.
What Steps Do Agencies Take To Ensure That Inappropriate People Are Not Accepted As Volunteers?
Several steps are taken. For example, all prospective volunteers must provide a satisfactory criminal record check and three or four satisfactory references. For more information on requirements, you can call Big Brothers Big Sisters of Moose Jaw at (306)-757-3900.
Does One Need To Get A Criminal Record Check Done?
You will need to go to your local RCMP or Police Department. We will be able to provide you with information on the location of the police station as well as their hours of operation.
How Long Does It Take To Become A Mentor?
This varies across agencies, and also depends on the time it takes for the application process to be completed. Contact us to learn more.
How Is A Mentee Picked For Me? Do I Have Any Say?
When matching you with a mentee, your caseworker carefully reviews your application, noting your stated preferences, activities you enjoy, your background, personality, where you live, and other information gathered during your interview. All of this information is carefully considered to make a suitable match. Before introducing you to your mentee, your caseworker will call you to tell you about the child to make sure you are comfortable and to answer any questions you may have. You will also have an opportunity to meet the child before the match is made. You do have the option to say ‘no’ – we want everyone to be excited about the new friendship.
Need Help Making Your Decision?
How Do I Know If Mentoring Is Right For Me?
In addition to going over the information in this section, you may wish to contact us to get answers to other questions you may have.
I Am A Senior Citizen, Can I Volunteer?
Most definitely! Big Brothers Big Sisters of Moose Jaw programs have no upper age limit to volunteering – just be prepared to get in touch with your inner child!
Do I Need To Have Access To A Car?
This depends on the program you are volunteering for. Having a vehicle may be necessary for remote or rural areas; however, in urban centers some matches rely entirely on public transit. This is something you should discuss with your caseworker before being matched.
I Cannot Commit To One Year Or Once A Week. Can I Still Be A Volunteer?
Most likely, yes. Talk with us about it – some offer programs with different commitment requirements. We will let you know if there is a program that might work for you. You may also want to start out by volunteering in another way, for example by helping the agency out with a fundraising event.
What If I Cannot See My Mentee For A Week Or Two Because I Am On Vacation, Or Away On A Business Trip?
Occasional absences are to be expected, whether for vacations, work responsibilities or illness. If you are going to miss an outing, discuss your plans with your caseworker, your mentee and his/her parent or guardian prior to your absence.
How Do I Know I’ll Get Along With The Child I Am Matched With?
Caseworkers interview you and find out your likes and dislikes and do the same with the children so that we can match you according to your similar likes and interests.
I Do Not Know Very Much About Kids. Is That OK?
Yes, as long as you are willing to learn, and you are patient and enthusiastic, you will be just fine, it does not take much knowledge or experience to be a friend and positive role model. Also, your caseworker is always available for you to ask questions or to be a sounding board.
What About A Criminal Record?
We are required to do Criminal record checks on all volunteers dealing with children. Should you have a record, a caseworker would discuss this area with you as each situation is handled on its own merits and may not impact your application.
What If Something Comes Up And I Cannot Meet With My Match One Week?
We know that life can get busy and sometimes circumstances will cause you to miss a week’s meeting. Just be sure to let your mentee and their parent know in advance and reschedule.