Enrolling a Little into the Program
Matching your child/youth to a caring adult mentor & friend. They meet 2—4 times a month on a schedule that works best for you.
Like our Little Brothers / Sisters, our volunteers come from a wide variety of backgrounds and experiences.
They are at least 18 years of age (or 16 if volunteering for the After School program) and may be single or
married, perhaps even with a family of their own. Big Brothers / Big Sisters make a one-year commitment
to spend a few hours a week with their Little Brother / Sister doing fun activities at a time that works for
both of them. All Big Brothers Big Sisters volunteers, are interviewed, screened, and trained by our professional agency staff.
Changing the way children grow up in Santa Cruz County.
Becoming a Little Brother or Sister
Little Brothers and Little Sisters are children living in Santa Cruz County that will benefit from a one-to-one relationship with a positive adult friend/role model. All Little Brothers / Little Sisters need and want the friendship of an adult with whom to have fun and help them through difficult childhood experiences.
• A desire by both guardian and child to be a part of the program
• Child age 7-14 years old (or about to turn 7 years old)
• Living in Santa Cruz County
How to Apply
• Fill out an online application in English or en Espanol.
• Download the English Application or the Spanish Application to print and send to us by mail.
• Call the Agency at 831-464-8691 or email us to receive an application by mail.
Once we receive your application, you will be called and/or emailed by the casework staff explaining the next step.
Parents As Partners
Parents and guardians are an integral part of the Big Brothers Big Sisters match at every step of the process. 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, parents remain closely involved in several key ways, including:
- Approving match activities and supporting your child’s involvement
- Asking your child questions about the match meetings, and reporting any concerns to the agency staff
- Regularly reporting back to the agency about your child’s progress and milestones in the match relationship – Big Brothers Big Sisters will contact you regularly, but we welcome your feedback at any time
- 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.
Child Safety is Highest Priority
The safety of your child is your highest priority. It is no different at Big Brothers Big Sisters. Making the best possible match between Little and Big is critical to the growth and development of a child. But before we begin the matching process, we start by thoroughly screening potential Bigs.
The Big Brothers Big Sisters Standards of Excellence requires each volunteer to complete a multi-layered screening process that includes:
- Completion of a formal written application
- Background and reference checks
- An in-person interview
- Home interview
- An orientation and training process that outlines the individual needs of your child and provides information and resources on how to encourage your child’s development
Big Brothers Big Sisters also provides child safety tips to you and your child and we welcome your questions and feedback. Throughout the life of the match, our professional staff will maintain ongoing communication with you, your child, and your child’s Big. It’s the best way to build a strong relationship that will have the greatest impact on your child’s future success.