(New Philadelphia, Ohio) – The mission of Big Brothers of Big Sisters of East Central Ohio is to help children reach their full potential, but they also strive to provide services and resources to parents throughout the program.
“We are proud to partner with and champion parents and guardians throughout each step of the matching process,” explained BBBS officials. “While our agency serves and provides mentoring services for the children, our goal is to create a strong partnership between the Big and the parent/guardian and empower the family with the resources they need to reach their full potential as a whole.”
The matching process, interviews often provide insight into struggles the parent or family as a whole may be experiencing. This could reveal that a child is struggling academically, for example, but the parent/guardian may feel unequipped to assist. The parent may also share details about financial difficulties that make things such as keeping clothes clean or getting school supplies an obstacle.
“We always want to work with the parent or guardian to get them the connections or resources they need,” BBBS officials added.
This may look like referrals to different agencies, for example. “We are consistently using the Director of Services provided by the Tuscarawas County Family and Children First Council to look up and connect these parents with resources,” noted BBBS. Resources provided include everything from childcare for siblings, clothing resources, counseling, employment and more.
Additionally, throughout the match relationship, both the child and parent/guardian are in contact with the agency. This occurs at least monthly to not only touch base and update each other on the progress of the match but also to simply check in with the family to assess any changes or needs that may have appeared.
“We regularly receive information about services and opportunities that we like to share with parents,” added BBBS. “A most recent example is the Community Christmas Sign-Ups that occur in Carroll County. We sent out the information to all of our Carroll County Parents/Guardians to ensure that the resource is getting out to them to sign up their children to receive Christmas gifts and that they are aware of deadlines and important information.”
BBBS added, “We believe that all children have potential, and a stable and thriving family is an essential part of reaching their full potential, so we are committed to providing as much assistance and connecting as many resources as necessary to assist in the development of the child.”