Thank you for your interest in volunteering with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Saskatoon. Select an option below that fits your level of interest.
How it Works
How The Volunteering Process Works
The order of the steps in the application and assessment process can vary from agency to agency, but the following is a general overview of the process. You, the volunteer applicant:
- Completes an application with their local agency
- Submits a vulnerable sector screen, criminal records check, and three or four references
- Participates in a one-to-one interview with a staff member at the Big Brothers Big Sisters agency
- Depending on the program, may be asked to participate in an assessment of their home environment
- Successfully completes an orientation and child safety training
- Is notified of their acceptance/non-acceptance
- If accepted as a volunteer mentor, signs an agreement of confidentiality
The Matching Process
Similar to the application and assessment process, the matching process can vary from agency to agency and from program to program, but in general:
- The caseworker, now familiar with the volunteer and the children and youth waiting to be matched, discusses a potential match with the volunteer, the child or youth, and, depending on the program, with the family
- The caseworker arranges for a meeting between the child or youth, the volunteer mentor, and often the parent or guardian
If everyone agrees, the match can begin!
WHAT IS MENTORING?
There are many things that are a part of mentoring, but the most important pieces are a willingness to be a friend and spending time with someone doing things that you both enjoy.
WHAT SORT OF THINGS OR ACTIVITIES DO I DO AS A MENTOR?
This depends on you and your match! What sort of activities do you like to do? Many of our matches share interests so they like to do those activities together. Matches also get to go to special events, community events, or explore our community together. Others cook, play video games, craft, go swimming, or play sports together. Some even cheer each other on at recitals and games!
WHAT TYPE OF TIME COMMITMENT IS THERE?
It depends on the program you are interested in and your schedule – we work with you to find what will work best for you! Some programs are designed for you to be matched long-term and others are designed for shorter lengths of time. Our biggest ask is that it is consistent, quality time you are spending with your mentee.
HOW DO I APPLY TO BE A MENTOR?
Super easy! You can apply here through our online application! You can also stop by our office to pick up a hard copy application or ask us at any event you see us at since we usually have copies with us!
DO I NEED A CRIMINAL RECORD CHECK (CRC)?
Yes, you do need a current CRC (with a Vulnerable Sector Search) that has been processed in the last six (6) months. We provide you with a volunteer letter to take to the Saskatoon Police Service (76 25th Street East, Saskatoon, SK S7K 3P9) that allows you to pay $10. Alternatively, you can fill out a background check online here. Please bring your letter, receipt, and two forms of ID. Once your CRC is ready, you bring it back to us with your receipt and we reimburse you the $10 cost of getting it completed!
Even More FAQ
IS THERE AN AGE RESTRICTION?
For most of our programs, you do have to be 18 years old, but we do have some opportunities for youth between the ages of 16-18. Contact us to find out more! We’re also always looking for volunteers that would be willing to help at events and that’s a good way to get involved! There is no maximum age, as long as you are willing to be matched and do things with your match!
DOES IT COST A LOT OF MONEY TO BE A MENTOR?
All of our programs are free to join, but there are minimal costs associated with activities you might choose to do with your match. We encourage low-to-no cost activities when possible, but some matches set aside $10 – $20 for their outings. When possible we get tickets and passes to things for our matches to help keep things low cost for everyone.
HOW DO YOU DECIDE ON A MATCH?
Matches are based on what is called “best fit.” This is why we ask about your interests during intake and find out more about why you want to be a mentor! We also want to know about things you are interested in learning and trying. We use all that information to match you to a youth, but we always check in with you on the potential match before we help organize a match meeting with everyone. We’re there to help the conversations get started!
WHAT HAPPENS IF I HAVE BUSY TIMES OF THE YEAR OR I AM SOMETIMES AWAY FOR A PERIOD OF TIME?
Make sure to let us know during your intake and we can talk about options. There are opportunities that can work for anyone! If you are in a match and will be away for a period of time we just ask that you let us, your match, and their family know and find ways to keep in touch while you will be away through letters, postcards, e-mails, or texts.
WHAT IF I HAVE QUESTIONS OR CONCERNS AFTER I’VE BEEN MATCHED?
We’re always an office visit, phone call, or e-mail away! We love to hear about the awesome things in the matches, but we know that could be bumps and we are here to help you! We check in at different times to make sure things are running smoothly too, so you’ll hear from us often 🙂