Be a Big Friend

Community-Based Mentoring

Big Friend Requirements

Age: At least 18 years old

Application Process:

  • Fully complete and submit Big Friend application

  • Provide four potential references

  • Schedule an in-person interview

  • Provide proof of a driver's license and auto insurance 

*Final approval for all applications is dependent on the successful completion of a criminal background check 

Approved Big Friend 

Expectations

Time Commitment:

  • Mentor will meet with the Little once a week for at least one hour

  • Mentor will commit to mentoring for at least one year  ​​

Communication: 

  • Mentor will communicate with the BFLF office about how the match is going (activities completed, time spent together, any concerns about the match, etc.)

  • Mentor will communicate with the Little's parents about what kind of activity they will be completing and when they plan to return 

  • Mentor will work with the Little Friend to plan activities both parties will enjoy

  • Mentor will let the parent and Little Friend know if they will not be able to meet and need to reschedule a match outing

“The delicate balance of mentoring someone is not creating them in your own image, but giving them the opportunity to create themselves.”

Steven Spielberg

Get a Big Friend

Community-Based Mentoring

Little Friend Requirements

To receive services from the Big Friend Little Friend mentoring program, a child must: 
 

  • Be between the ages of 7 and 14 years. Exceptions to take children under the age of 7 will be made based on the number of volunteers available and the child's family situation. 

  • Reside within a 30 mile radius of Mitchell. 

  • Have a desire to participate in the program. 

  • Have a custodial parent/guardian who is capable of supporting a match relationship. 

  • If parents are divorced, there must be a clear resolution of all custodial issues. 

  • The needs of the child must be appropriate for volunteer intervention as determined by the Big Friend Little Friend staff. 
     

Guidelines for determining eligibility include: 

  • Has poor self-esteem​

  • Culturally and/or economically disadvantaged 

  • Exhibits poor social skills

  • Has few friends his/her own age

  • Lacks adequate support and attention of a stable adult

  • Is an underachiever academically

  • Is overly dependent on a parent

  • Has a sibling who has had significant problems with social or community adjustments

  • Is insecure and does not trust adults

A child may live in one of the following situations: 

  • A single-parent or no-parent home where the parent/guardian has legal custody

  • A family situation where one or both parents/guardians are mentally or physically disabled

  • A two-parent family experiencing crisis-related stress

  • A foster home where the child is in the care of a legal guardian

A child may not be accepted if: 

  • Contact with the child's parent is frequent, consistent, and appropriate

  • The child receives adequate contact or role modeling from another source on a regular basis

  • The child's problems are so severe that services from a volunteer mentor are inappropriate or inadequate

  • The parent/guardian is unwilling to give their consent for the child to participate

  • The child is unwilling to participate

Parent Expectations

Here are the expectations BFLF holds for parents whose child is approved and enrolled in community-based mentoring: 

  • Communicate with the Big Friend to schedule match outings

  • Ensure their child is dressed appropriately for the match outing

  • Talk to the child about the child's time with their Big Friend

  • Provide adequate money for outings

  • Be flexible about family plans to accommodate the match relationship

  • Will not use restriction from seeing their Big as punishment

  • Contact the Big Friend immediately if an outing needs to be rescheduled

  • Contact BFLF staff each month for match support

  • Will not ask the Big Friend to babysit

  • Will not send additional children (siblings, cousins, etc.) with their approved child for match outings

Big Friend Little Friend of the Mitchell Area

Empowering children through supportive mentoring relationships. Interested in joining us?

Contact BFLF now. 

Email: mitchellbflf@gmail.com

Phone: 605-292-4444

Address: 104 W. 5th Ave.

                 Mitchell, SD  57301

Hours: Monday - Friday, 9 AM -5 PM

                 Evenings by appointment

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