Volunteering with Big Brothers Big Sisters Kawartha Lakes Haliburton
How does mentoring work
Mentoring is about being a friend to a child/youth. Mentors make a difference in so many different ways by offering friendship, support, and consistency
What programs are avaliable?
1:1 traditional mentoring, where volunteers are matched with a youth in the community. Matches typically meet once a week for 2 to 4 hours. We ask for a minimum one-year commitment to the match from both the volunteer and the family. Weekly schedules can absolutely be flexible, and this will be discussed during your match meet. Matches meet after school or on weekends.
In-School Mentoring: Volunteers are matched with a youth through a school.
We work with schools across CKL and Haliburton County. Matches meet once a week, for 1 hour, during the academic school year. We ask for a commitment of the academic school year for the match from both the child and the mentor.
Currently, this program is virtual through Google Meets. Your caseworker will provide any training needed and complete school drop-offs with any match activities required to help support the match.
How old does a mentor have to be?
Mentors need to be 18 years of age or older.
How old are the mentees?
We serve youth across CKL and Haliburton aged 6 to 16. A match can take place until the youth turns 18, at which point we have to close the match (after 18, they are considered an adult and thus no longer supported through BBBS as a mentee).
What kind of activities do matches do?
Ones they both enjoy! We help by providing a list of local no-cost activities and identifying shared interests within the match to help brainstorm ideas, you can always ask your caseworker for support. On occasion, we have tickets donated for local events and can provide those to matches.
We also provide a newsletter every 3 months with ideas for the upcoming months.
What can I do if I need support with an issue in my match?
You will have a caseworker who will complete regular match check-ins with you.
You can always reach out to them to share any concerns or celebrations within the match outside of the scheduled contact points.
Are mentors expected to help with a youth's personal activities, such as driving them to appointments or helping with homework?
No! This is absolutely not a requirement. On occasion, mentors sometimes offer to assist with these types of activities, but this is not an expectation.
The Process for Enrolling a Child/Youth
The process for becoming a mentor
How do I enroll my child?
You can fill out an online inquiry.
We also have youth applications available here to fill out that will be sent to the team. Applications MUST be signed by a legal guardian/parent
Once we receive either the inquiry or the application, one of our caseworkers will contact you to chat more about your interest and to learn about your child. Once we receive the completed application, one of our caseworkers will contact you to arrange an in-person intake
How do I get started?
You can fill out an online inquiry.
We also have mentor applications available here you can fill out that will be submitted to our team.
Once we receive either the inquiry or the application, one of our caseworkers will contact you to chat more about your interest and the process and ask for a criminal record check and vulnerable sector check. Once we receive the application, we will follow up with the references provided. After that reference checks are completed, we will then contact you and set up a time for an in-person interview, where we complete the interview as well as mandatory training. Once all these steps are completed and you have been formally notified of your acceptance, our caseworkers will set up a match with you!
What does the intake look like?
We will meet with the parent/guardian to complete an intake (about 1 hour). We then will meet with the child to complete a short intake (30 minutes). We also will complete mandatory training on child safety and agency policies to ensure a FUN and SAFE match for everyone with both the parent/guardian and the youth. Once this is completed, your child will be placed on our waitlist
Do you accept everyone?
No. As prospective mentors go through the application and assessment process, the agency may determine that mentoring is not right for them. Prospective mentors themselves may also decide the time is not right to take on this role.
How does the waitlist work?
Our waitlist is not on a first-come, first-serve basis. We match according to location, age, gender, and personalities Once a mentor becomes available that would best suit your child; we will contact you.
How do I get a Police Check and Vulnerable Sector Check?
Either online or in-person with your local police department (i.e., CKL Police or
How long does it take to set up a match?
It depends! Many factors determine this. While your child is on the waitlist, our caseworkers will contact you regarding any potential service referrals, local programming, or group programming offered. We typically offer summer group programs. Youth on the waitlist receive priority for group programs.
How does the matching process work?
Your caseworker will select up to 3 Littles (youth) on our waitlist who would be the best fit for you. They will provide a brief description of each to you and give you a few days to make a decision. Once decided, your caseworker will contact the family and tell them a bit about you. If they choose to move forward, your caseworker will set up a match meet with you, the parent/guardian, the child, and your caseworker.
How does a match work?
We ask for a minimum commitment of 1 year for both family and volunteer for a match. Once a mentor has been selected, we will contact you and tell you about them. We will give you a chance to speak to your child about the potential mentor. If both you and your child wish to move forward, your caseworker will set up a match meet where you, your child, the mentor, and your caseworker will be in attendance. After the match meet, your caseworker will regularly check in with you, your child, and the mentor to see how the match is going and to offer any support needed
How long is the process?
It depends – scheduling the interview, waiting for the police check, and completing reference checks can determine this. It can typically take anywhere from 2 weeks to 6 weeks to complete the process