The Youth in Care program is a section of Big Brothers Big Sisters community based mentoring that works specifically with youth in government care. Our volunteers share their time with one child through participating in a variety of activities that reflect the interests of both parties; it’s as simple as being a good friend to a good kid. BGCBigs works with Bigs to match them directly with Littles in ways that considers similar interests, and geography.
Through the YIC mentoring program mentors are connected to youth living in a variety of settings such as group homes, foster care, or kinship placements. The goal of YIC mentoring is to create healthy positive relationships for youth who may have experienced many transitions throughout their lives.
We believe it’s so important to be able to provide mentoring programs specifically for youth who have had involvement with Alberta Child and Family Services. Mentoring a youth in care has all the same impacts as mentoring through our other programs. Children with mentors experience incredible life benefits such as:
•Becoming 80% more likely to finish high school
•Increased confidence, self-esteem and sense of hope
•Less likely to engage in drugs and alcohol
•Improvement in relationships with adults and peers
There are no specific skills or experience required, however all volunteers are screened to gauge their appropriateness for our programs and must be 18 years of age.
Benefits & Recognition
People who mentor:
•Gain personal growth and development
•Have a positive new perspective on life
•Make a positive difference in the life of a child and the community
•See meaningful improvements in their own mental and physical health
•Report increased levels of happiness and energy
•Our agency has ticket lists for concerts and sporting events, as well as agreements with various organizations, to provide big/little matches with perks
Deliverables / Duties
Volunteers will agree to a minimum of 1 year of commitment to their Little, and will share time together on a consistent and reliable weekly or biweekly schedule. We encourage matches to try new things and find common interests. We can provide a list of recommended activities, but there is no limit so long as the activities are safe and appropriate for the child's age and development.
• Police check child welfare check • 2 hour screening interview • 2 hour volunteer training seminar • Enhanced Youth in Care Training • Alberta Mentoring Partnership Certificate
Think you'd be a good fit? Check out http://bgcbigs.ca/ and apply to become a volunteer today!
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