FAQ

Below are some frequently asked questions. If you can't find the answers here - contact us.

Below are some frequently asked questions.  Can't find the answers you're looking for here? 

Contact Big Brothers Big Sisters of Windsor Essex-519-945-6232

About Mentoring

What is Mentoring all about?

First and foremost, Mentoring is about being a friend to a child or youth. For more information see Mentoring 101 andHow Mentoring Helps Children and Youth

How do Mentors make a difference in the lives of children and youth?

Mentors make a difference in so many different ways! For more information see How Mentoring Helps Children and Youth which includes testimonials from Mentees and their parents.

About 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. Service Delivery Staff do their best to match Mentors with a Mentee who has interests similar to theirs. Many agencies organize group activities for matches, and are sometimes given tickets to movies, sporting events, and cultural events.

Does Big Brothers Big Sisters only offer one-to-one Mentoring or are there different types of opportunities available?

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Windsor Essex offers a wide variety of Mentoring opportunities.  See Mentoring Opportunities at BBBS for more information, or contact Big Brothers Big Sisters of Windsor Essex-519-945-6232

Does Mentoring with Big Brothers Big Sisters cost a lot of money? 

It doesn't have to. Big Brothers Big Sisters encourages no-cost and low-cost activities.

What can I do if I need support with an issue in my match?
You will be assigned a Service Delivery Staff, a trained professional who is there to support you in your match with your Mentee. You will be required to have regular contact with your Service Delivery Staff, and we also encourage you to contact them  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 every now and then, but this is not a requirement.

Are Mentors responsible for the safety of their Mentee during their time together? 

Yes. See Mentor Requirements and Responsibilities for more information.

About the Process for Becoming a Volunteer

How do I get started toward becoming a Big Brothers Big Sisters volunteer? 

Check out our Online Orientation page to learn more about the process in becoming a mentor.

Do you accept everyone who applies to be a volunteer? 

No. As prospective Mentors go through the enrollment 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  and vulnerable sector check and three or four satisfactory references. For more information on requirements see Mentor Requirements and Responsibilities.

Where do I go to get a Criminal Record Check done?
You will need to go to your local RCMP or Police Department. We will provide you with a police clearance form and 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 programs and also depends on the time it takes for the enrollment  process to be completed. Contact Big Brothers Big Sisters of Windsor Essex-519-945-6232 to learn more.

How is a Mentee picked for me? Do I have any say? 

When matching you with a Mentee, your Service Delivery Staff 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 in order to make a compatible, comfortable match for you and your Mentee. Before introducing you to your Mentee, your Service Delivery Staff will call you to tell you about the child to make sure you are comfortable and to answer any questions you may have. In the Big Brothers Big Sisters Mentoring program, volunteers will have an opportunity to meet the child before the match is made. They do have the option to say 'no' - we want everyone to be excited about a new match.

Help with 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 complete our Self-Assessment Checklist

I am a senior citizen, can I volunteer?

Most definitely! Big Brothers Big Sisters of Windsor Essex  does not have an upper age limit to volunteer - just be prepared to get in touch with your inner child!

I don't know much about children and youth, is that okay? 

Yes! It doesn't take much knowledge or experience to be a friend and positive role model, and  a Service Delivery Staff is always there to support you.

Do I need to have access to a car? 

Not necessarily. This is something you should discuss with a Service Delivery Staff prior to being matched.

I can't commit to one year or once a week. Can I still be a volunteer? 

Most likely, yes, depending on the program you want to volunteer in.  Talk with your Service Delivery Staff.  They   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 such as Non-Programming Volunteer Opportunities.  See above.

What if I can't see my Mentee for a week or two because I'm on vacation, going through exams, 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 a visit, discuss your plans with your Service Delivery Staff, your Mentee, his or her parent or guardian or school liaison depending on the program, prior to your absence.

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