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In order to be a big Brother or Big Sister in our program a volunteer must:
Ansonia, Bethany, Bethel, Branford, Bridgeport, Brookfield, Danbury, Darien, Derby, East Haven, Easton, Fairfield, Greenwich, Guilford, Hamden, Madison, Milford, Monroe, New Canaan, New Fairfield, New Haven, Newtown, North Branford, Northford, North Haven, Norwalk, Orange, Oxford, Redding, Ridgefield, Seymour, Shelton, Stamford, Stratford, Trumbull, West Haven, Weston, Westport, Wilton, Woodbridge
Most of the children in our program come from single parent families. We do not try to replace the absent parent, we support families. We provide another adult friend for the child to confide in, share experiences with, and to model after. Boys are between ages of 7 and 14 and girls are between the ages of 6 and 14 for intake. In order for us to accept a child, both the parent and the child have to want to participate in the program.
For the adult volunteer, there is a process that you have to go through. This involves filling in the application, which follows. We will need two personal and one employer reference (three references if you are not currently working or self-employed). One of our staff members will call, fax, e-mail or mail the questionnaire to them. If you supply all of their contact information getting in touch with them should be quick and easy. Please inform your references that someone from the agency will be contacting them.
We will need a copy of your driver’s license and your auto insurance coverage. We do criminal background checks on all our volunteers. There is a cost to run the police check and we ask that you make a donation of $40 to cover that expense – and we can take a check, VISA or MasterCard. This donation, however, is optional and will not hinder your process if you choose not to make it.
Once we receive your completed application someone will contact you in order to set up a convenient time for you to sit down with one of our professional Enrollment and Match Specialists. During that time we will explore your family background, education, work history, interests and values.
After that is complete – you have to attend a volunteer training session before you can be accepted and matched with a child. This is one-night training, taught by our professional staff and held monthly at the Burroughs Community Center (2470 Fairfield Avenue, Bridgeport). It is informal, lasting about 3 hours. They go over the Do’s and Don’ts of the program, problems specific to single parent families, communication skills and some of the issues that we have encountered over the years. After all these steps are completed, your file is submitted to the supervisor for acceptance into the program.
A match is made after careful consideration of your background, values, interests and preferences and how they are compatible with a specific child. The Enrollment and Match Specialist will go through a process called profile sharing. He/she will tell you everything they know about a specific child and their family except their name. If you decide you want to work with this child, then we do the process in reverse with the family; telling them everything we know about you except your name.
Once an agreement is made, we do a match introduction. At the match introduction, you do not take the child out. Everyone meets and signs an agreement. You will set up a time for your initial outing and begin seeing the child on the agreed upon schedule. Every match is assigned a professional Case Manager who monitors the match, helps to set goals for the match, and serves as a resource and sounding board if needed.
If this sounds like something you think you might be interested in, please fill out and return our volunteer application via...
mail: BBBS, 2470 Fairfield Avenue, Bridgeport, CT 06605
fax: (203) 384-8861
Thank you and we hope to hear from you soon.