Get A Big: Enroll Your Child In Our FREE program
Young people need our support now more than ever. And it all starts with the right role models. A Big Brother or Big Sister is another caring adult in your child's life to provide friendship, support and encouragement. Since 1963, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Southern Arizona has been able to recruit, screen, match, and support mentoring relationships that have changed the lives of thousands of young people in Tucson and Southern Arizona.
It's easy to become a Little - not to mention life-changing, fun and free! Children ages 6 to 13 who reside in Southern Arizona are eligible for our youth mentoring programs. We ask for an initial 18-month commitment to our program from both the Bigs and Littles (and parents and guardians) but our goal is to create a relationship that is rewarding and long-lasting. Many of our matches spends many years together in a caring friendship, and our professional support team is there to help the match every step of the way.
We take child safety seriously. We're moms and dads, too: that's why safety is our top priority. We have rigorous child protection systems in place. Our staff and volunteers undergo thorough screening and background and reference checks, including fingerprinting. We will do everything possible to protect your child.
You know what’s best for your child. So we’ll need your help from the start, providing information about your child’s strengths and needs, and ultimately approving the Big Brother or Big Sister match. However, your role doesn’t end there.
When it comes to the future of our children and the well-being of our communities, we’re all in this together. So it should come as no surprise that we need the parents and guardians of Littles to be involved in every step of the way, starting with the initial match.
Once the match is made, you remain closely involved in many ways, including:
- Approving activities and outings for your child and their Big
- Asking your child questions about those outings, and sharing what you learn with the agency staff
- Reporting your child’s progress and milestones to the agency on a regular basis (Big Brothers Big Sisters will contact you, but we welcome your feedback 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.
Safety from the start.
Your child's safety is extremely important to us. Big Brothers Big Sisters conducts a thorough background check on every volunteer in our program, and every relationship is closely monitored and supported by a professionally trained match coordinator.
Making the best possible match between Little and Big is critical to the growth and development of a child.
Big Brothers Big Sisters National Standards of Excellence require each volunteer to complete an extensive screening process that includes:
- Completion of a formal written application
- Background and reference checks
- An in-person interview
- An orientation and training process that outlines the individualized 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 be in 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.
You’ll feel the impact as much as your child.
A study for Big Brothers Big Sisters found that kids matched with a Big Brother or Big Sister:
✓ are more confident
✓ are more likely to steer clear of drugs and alcohol
✓ do better in school
✓ get along better with their family and friends
✓ feel better about themselves*
*Tierney, J.P., Grossman, J.B., and Resch, N.L. (1995) Making a Difference: An Impact Study of Big Brothers Big Sisters. Philadelphia: Public/Private Ventures