Bellefaire JCB matches caring adult volunteers with children and adolescents through two programs: Jewish Big Brother Big Sister Association and our Mentoring Program for Foster Youth. Both of these one-on-one mentoring programs help youth become self-sufficient, healthy and productive individuals.
In our own lives each one of us has been influenced by someone other than our parents. Think back to your own childhood. Who was that special person who brought a little magic to your life? Big Brothers and Sisters are mentoring adults and friends who not only help create wonderful memories for children, but help them live bigger lives. Studies show that children with mentors become more self sufficient and confident, do better in school and are more likely to avoid illegal behaviors.
Since 1919, the Jewish Big Brother Big Sister Association (JBBBSA), a charter member of Big Brothers Big Sisters of America, has been providing children with strong and enduring, professionally supported one-to-one relationships that change lives for the better, forever.
We match caring adult volunteers (Bigs) with Jewish children (Littles) ages 6 to 18 based on similar interests and personalities. Our Littles come from a diverse variety of backgrounds and needs. These one-on-one mentoring matches help children and teens become self-sufficient, healthy and productive individuals by pairing them with a positive adult role model.
Jewish Big Brother Big Sister Mission
To aid in the development of confident, responsible and caring individuals by providing high-quality, professionally supported mentoring services and programs to Jewish children and their families.
As a program of Bellefaire JCB, JBBBS benefits from the vast prevention and education services that the agency provides through its licensed counselors and social workers. Each match is supported by a professional therapist who helps the pair develop their relationship and reap many life-learning and long-time benefits.
“When I was 22 a friend convinced me to become a Big Sister with Bellefaire JCB. Pow! I never expected that my Little would become one of my strongest sources of energy. The past four years have been such a meaningful experience for both of us. Hannah helps me see the world clearly and I help support her dreams.”
There are many reasons why a child would benefit from having a Big Sister or Brother. Maybe you have a new baby or another child at home with special needs that is preoccupying your time. You might be a single parent looking for a role model for your child. Or maybe your child has emotional, behavioral or a learning challenges and would benefit from having an adult mentor help him or her learn to process these differences or talk about his or her daily experiences. No matter what the situation, a Big is a valuable role model who can support your parenting role by helping with homework, offering solutions to a problem, or just be there to listen.
There is no cost to you.
To start the process, fill out an online application (which takes about 10 minutes, and must be completed in one sitting) or download, start, and save a fillable PDF application on your own time! You can email, mail, or fax the application to us. Our email, mailing address, and fax number are located on the last page of the PDF. A case manager will then call to set up a time to meet with you and your child. This will be an informal interview for us to get to know you and your needs, and for you and your child to ask questions about the program.
We match Bigs with Littles based on common interests and what we believe is best for your child. A match might be made quickly if the right Big is on the waiting list or your child may be placed on a waiting list until we find the best match. We work diligently to recruit and train Bigs all the time.
You have the power to make a BIG difference with little effort – just by being you. By nature, children look up to older brothers and sisters and yearn to follow in their footsteps. Being a role model and friend not only supports a youth who is facing adversities, it brings fulfillment and satisfaction to you.
Many children in our program have unresolved issues resulting from the loss of a parent or other changes at home. Others may have withdrawn from their friends and family, exhibit depression or have been reluctant to emotionally invest in relationships. Some are immigrants faced with the challenges of acculturation and feel isolated, detached and are struggling to succeed in school. No matter what the situation, a Big is a valuable role model who helps with homework, offers solutions to a problem, or is an ear to listen. As a role model, you will help your Little learn to build relationships, develop self-confidence and generally become a happier, stronger individual.
To start the process, fill out an online application (which takes about 10 minutes, and must be completed in one sitting) or download, start, and save fillable PDF application on your own time! You can email, mail, or fax the application to us. Our email, mailing address, and fax number are located on the PDF for your convenience. Our screening process includes background checks, motor vehicle checks and an in-person interview. During the screening process, you will be asked to have your work/school and personal references fill out a quick form online:
You will be provided with a thorough training given by one of our independently licensed, Master’s level case managers. During orientation interest forms are completed, which allow us to match you with a Little that shares similar personalities and hobbies. The most important aspect of being a BIG is to be there for and to listen to your Little. They may just need a friend.
Children and adolescents in foster care often have suffered a great deal of loss, emotional stress and disruption in their lives. These kids, more than anyone, need a stable, caring adult that they can count on ̶ someone who will be there just for them.
Bellefaire JCB’s Mentoring Program provides high quality, one-to-one mentoring services to young people ages 10-21 in permanent custody of the Cuyahoga County Division of Children and Family Services (DCFS). Bellefaire matches the mentors and mentees according to preferences and common interests, along with providing supervision, training and support.
The expected time commitment is just 8 hours per month for a year, but we hope the special bond you develop with your match will last much longer. Mentors are reimbursed up to $100 per month for outings and mileage.
As a Mentor, you will:
Call Us: Mandy Kwait, LISW-S, Director (216) 320-6845 or firstname.lastname@example.org; Laura Halpert, LISW-S, Case Manager (216) 320-8319 or email@example.com; Sara Mihalek, MNM, Program Support Specialist (216) 320-8321 or firstname.lastname@example.org