3908 Washington St, Kansas City, MO | Directions 6411139.056557 -94.591645
Neighborhoods: Midtown - Westport, Old Westport
Denied Volunteer – I applied for Big Brothers Big Sisters in December of 2010. It took the caseworker 7 weeks to schedule her in home interview. When she arrived, she was very young, very clipped and impersonal. I felt I expressed whom I was, what I wanted with BBBS and what I hoped to give. I did mention that I looked at this as a stepping-stone. I have no children in my life and as a professional, educated, married woman in her early 40s, I felt it would be fun to work with a Kauffman Scholar. I didn't have parental support when I needed help with school or applying for college. I had to learn on my own. I knew the process well. I didn't know if I could dedicate more than 1 day a month - so this seemed the perfect starting point. I hoped, that if things went well, I could eventually dedicate myself to a Little and meet on a weekly basis. I also expressed my desire to eventually foster or adopt an older child of my own.
This is the response I received (after waiting for 3 months) and it just doesn't make sense.
"After careful consideration, we have decided not to accept your application to be a volunteer with our program. We want to emphasize that our decision is in no way meant to reflect badly on your personally, but rather that volunteer service of our particular type may not be appropriate for you given the amount of involvement that you hope to have with a child. We think you have a lot of experience, compassion, and dedication to offer a child in need and we encourage you to consider looking into the option of becoming a foster parent as a way to become more involved in a child's life."
Based on what I've read about BBBS and their applicant process, this means I am an "inappropriate" volunteer - no matter how you slice it. So I can only think that since I eventually want to be a foster parent or to adopt, I am inappropriate. I just have to question BBBS and their logic. There is no point in following up with BBBS based on their rejection policy. Perhaps if I were more clinical in my responses and cared less, I would be scheduling my training today. I think the concerns of the casework could have been resolved during training.
I can distinguish between being a Big versus being a parent. I don't think the case worker can make the distinction and it's no wonder, reviewing scribbled notes from a 3 month old interview, it seems apparent the caseworker made the wrong assessment. As a software engineer for the past 13 years, I know better than to wait a long time before writing down technical requirements. Information gets lost in translation.
I will not be recommending BBBS to any one I know. My sister-in-law warned me that the caseworkers are overworked and don't respond or follow up in a timely manner. My sister-in-law was much younger than I when she volunteered and didn't want any children of her own. She was obviously an "ideal" candidate.
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