What follows are tips that can help keep your Match
safe and long lasting.
After every Match activity, ask
your child some detailed questions about how the outing went.
Make sure you are always informed of
your child’s plans with his/her Big.
Please be at home when your child is
supposed to return from an outing.
Be aware of your child’s phone
conversations, online chats, or emails from his/her Big.
Keep in regular contact with your
Match Support Specialist. Share your thoughts and feelings.
Based Parents/Guardians should regularly ask their child about
his/her Match and report to the BBBS Match Support
Specialist any observations or concerns.
your Parent/Guardian (whether they ask or not) what you and your Big
Be honest with
your Parent/Guardian and about your feelings toward your Big. If
you are unhappy or uncomfortable with your Match, tell
your Parent/Guardian immediately.
Stay with your Big when you go out on
outings. Don’t go off on your own.
Wear your seatbelt at all times.
If you are in a School Based Match,
stay on the school campus. Special permission from school administrators
and staff supervision is required for off campus meetings and
BEING A PART OF BIG BROTHERS BIG SISTERS
Families as Partners
We partner with Parents/Guardians, volunteers and
others in the community to empower children and youth to achieve:
Avoiding risky behaviors
Each year, we ask the Parent/Guardian to provide:
Current report card at the end of each
Standardized test (STAAR) results
Big Brothers Big Sisters Lone Star aims to provide children
with strong and enduring, professionally supported 1-to-1 relationships that
change their lives for the better, forever. Our vision is that
all children achieve success in life. Your involvement can help achieve the
mission and vision of the agency by developing a healthy, successful, and
impactful relationship between all parties. The Match Agreement sets forth what
an appropriate and healthy match relationship is like. The Code of Conduct
defines specific behaviors for match members to follow to develop and maintain
an impactful match. BBBS takes a strong stance against behaviors that result in
inappropriate or unhealthy relationships. The Match Support Team, led by the
assigned Match Support Specialist, will guide Bigs, Littles, and Parents as
they pursue this potentially life changing relationship. For the purposes of
this document, the term “Parent” refers to biological parents, caretakers,
legal guardians, and/or school personnel for site/school-based matches.
Match Members (Big, Little, Parent, Match
Support Team) agree to communicate regularly, openly, and appropriately about
all aspects of the match friendship.
Match Members agree to interact consistently and
faithfully for the life of the match and agree to end the match in a positive
and appropriate way when the time comes.
Match Members agree to behave appropriately in
all situations in order to keep the match relationship healthy, safe, and
moving toward a positive impact on the child.
I.Communication is key
to an appropriate and healthy match relationship.
The Match Support Team will be in
contact with Bigs, Parents* and Littles each month to help the match develop a
healthy, appropriate friendship, as well as keep the match engaged with the
agency and its resources. To enhance their match relationship, the agency will
also ask Bigs and Littles to complete surveys about their match relationship or
Regular communication between the Big
and Parent is essential. Big, Parents and Littles will need to communicate with
one another to schedule activities, discuss the Little’s development/progress,
and to ensure the match meets everyone’s expectations. It is important to keep
communication open and honest, especially when issues or disagreements
Parents are in the best position to
ensure that a healthy friendship develops. Parents and Littles will communicate
after each meeting so the Parent can have a full understanding of what the
match did together, how the child felt about the meeting, and what the child
gained from the meeting.
To strengthen their friendship, Littles
and Bigs will engage in conversation while meeting, over the phone, or via text
Communication with the agency must
always be open and honest, including if anyone ever has an uncertain or
uncomfortable feeling about the match relationship.
In accordance with the law, all adults
in Texas are required to alert the proper authorities if any situation arises
where someone is in danger of being hurt, hurting others (including self), or
if abuse or neglect of any child is suspected, disclosed or observed. If you
ever find yourself in this situation, let the Match Support Team know so that
they may guide you through the appropriate course of action.
BBBS is a mentoring agency and does not
provide direct financial assistance or counseling services. If Parents,
Littles, or Bigs are in need of financial, emotional or other assistance, the
Match Support Team can make referrals to appropriate resources. Bigs and
Littles/Parents assume no legal responsibility for each other resulting from
the match relationship, are not responsible for providing direct assistance to
each other, and are discouraged from doing so.
At some point in time, all matches end.
BBBS hopes that each match lasts for a very long time. When a match needs to
close, regardless of the reason, the Big, Little, Parent, and Match Support
Team agree to communicate about the closure in order to provide the best
possible ending for the match, with the well-being of the Little as the first
faithfulness from all parties of the match are essential for developing a
healthy and appropriate match relationship. BBBS recommends the Big and Little
meet face to face around 4 times a month (at least twice every month) and,
generally speaking, no more than once a week.
Friendship and trust develop over time.
Bigs and Littles will meet in person, one to one, and talk consistently
throughout the life of the match relationship.
A friend is not a consequence to be
taken away as a result of bad choices. Parents will support the match
friendship between the Big and Little by allowing meetings to occur even if the
Little has exhibited misbehavior in other areas of his/her life. Parents may
restrict meetings to exclude activities that may feel like a reward to the
Little, but will not restrict the Big and Little from seeing each other.
Parents will encourage Littles to have positive behavior when interacting with
Bigs during and between meetings.
There are times that things come up and
plans must be changed. To be considerate, Bigs, Littles, and Parents will
contact one another if something will prevent them from following through on
Bigs, Littles, Parents, and the Match
Support Team will faithfully protect each other’s personal information
(upholding confidentiality) unless there is a concern for someone’s safety and
then appropriate authorities will be contacted.
BBBS does not discriminate with regard
to race, color, religion, national origin, gender, marital status, sexual
orientation, gender identity, age, military or veteran status, disability,
and/or any other legally protected class. Bigs, Littles, Parents, and
Match Support Team members may find that they have differing values and views
than those they are matched with, but are to respect the different values and
views each brings to the match relationship. BBBS will not tolerate, and
will take appropriate action if, harassment or discrimination of others is
reported or discovered.
on the part of all parties is necessary to ensure the development of a healthy
The Big and Little should be part of
each other’s lives, but not to the exclusion of other activities and
A mentor models good
decision-making skills. Match meetings will be safe and appropriate for
the Little based on age, maturity level and interests. Parents will be
consulted when deciding in which activities the match will participate.
The Match Support team can provide consultation and assistance with ideas when
Friendship is not built with money or
gifts. In planning activities together, Bigs, Littles, and Parents will keep
costs low so that the focus of time together will be on building a lasting
friendship between the Big and Little.
The Big will be responsible for covering
the cost of activities that the match agrees to participate in together;
however, Parents are welcome to help with costs as they are able.
Since the focus of the match is to build
a healthy and appropriate relationship between the Big and Little, the giving
of money, special favors or excessive gift giving will be avoided. For guidance
on gift giving, consult your Match Support Team member.
Bigs introduce Littles to new
experiences. Community Based Littles may visit the Big’s home only after they
have been matched for three months and the Match Support Team and Parent
approves the visit. However, the match will continue to engage in a variety of
activities in the community with occasional activities in the Big’s home. (See
Home Visit Policy)
Overnight visits may only occur with
prior approval from the Match Support Team and only when the requirements of
the Overnight Policy have been met. (See Overnight Policy)
Appropriate supervision will be provided
for the Little at all times. Both Parent and Big will take responsibility for
their part in supervising the Little. The Big is responsible for appropriate
supervision during meetings, and the Parent is responsible for making sure
appropriate supervision is available during pick up and drop off times for
Bigs and Littles will respect each
other’s personal space, boundaries, and privacy.
Parents will be the sole individual
responsible for administering discipline and medical treatment for the
Community Based Bigs will provide a safe
experience while transporting their Little including following all traffic/auto
laws and recommendations of the State of Texas.
Bigs will notify the agency of any
changes in their life circumstances, legal status, or health that would result
in the Big no longer meeting the eligibility requirements to be a Big or to
provide safe transportation for their Little on outings.
Bigs will recognize that they are
considered role models for their Littles and will exhibit behavior and make
choices that reflect that role model status both in the presence of the Little
and in other areas of their lives (including complying with all local, state,
and federal laws). Criminal background checks may be conducted on the Big each
year that they remain in the program.
DISREGARD OF MATCH AGREEMENT/CODE OF
The signature of the Big, Little, and Parent on the Receipt
of Forms document indicates the understanding of and willingness to abide by
the Match Agreement, Code of Conduct, and policies/regulations of Big Brothers
Big Sisters Lone Star. Any exceptions to the Agreement/Code of Conduct must be
requested and approved in advance by a Match Support Specialist or
Supervisor. If Bigs, Littles, or Parents disregard the Match Agreement,
Code of Conduct, and policies/regulations, immediate review and possible
closure from the program could occur.