Our case managers are at the heart of everything we do: They support our Bigs and Littles as they plan outings, talk about the future, and navigate life together. Much of their work happens behind-the-scenes, so it’s not always easy to know what they’re up to all of the time.
To learn more about our case managers and what they do, we sat down with Kristie Williams. Kristie has been case manager with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Kansas City for over 5 years. We asked her to share her favorite parts of the job and all of the fun things she gets to do as a case manager for Big Brothers Big Sisters with us. Here’s what she said:
Question: Why did you want to become a case manager?
Answer: I originally started at BBBSKC as an intern while I was going to college. When the job was posted in my last month as an intern, I immediately knew I wanted to apply for it — I had just spent three months falling in love with the work we do. From creating relationships, supporting those relationships and seeing growth in our Littles to the overall office environment/culture, the wonderful people that make up the amazing staff and our high quality events, I knew it was where I wanted to be!
Q: What does a day in the life of a case manager look like?
A: For a case manager, no two days are alike! We are dealing with a lot of moving parts and some days can definitely be crazier than others. We are often in and out of the office doing things like interviewing volunteers, checking references, creating matches, connecting current matches with community resources, meeting with already matched Bigs, and supporting a caseload of 50-60 matches!
Q: Why is your favorite part of your job?
A: My favorite part of my job is definitely creating matches. Introducing a Little to their Big and seeing their excitement, even with the more reserved Littles, is so rewarding. In that moment, we’re all taking a huge step together — we’re investing in them and creating a new relationship to help them grow in their potential. That’s really inspiring. I love hearing from Bigs about little victories, too — often the small steps forward end up making the biggest difference.
Q: What gets you out of bed in the morning, excited to go to work?
A: I love meeting new people every day. I like getting to know our volunteers and figuring out what Little might be a good match for them.
Q: What motivates you? What are you passionate about?
A: This goes back to my favorite part of the job, creating matches. I love watching those matches grow into amazing relationships that focus on the Little and all the things they can and will accomplish in their lives.
Q: What’s one thing Bigs and Littles should know about their case manager?
A: There’s no such thing as over communication. The more you share with your case manager about the successes, the challenges, and how your match is going overall, the easier it is for us to get a good sense of what kind of support each match needs to continue growing in a healthy way.
Q: What is your #1 concern/priority when it comes to your job?
A: The number one priority is making a compatible match. We want to make matches that will positively impact the Little. To do that, we’re constantly working to make sure that the Big we are picking for them is the right one — we consider their interests, their personalities, academics, and the Bigs’ ability to foster all of those and have a great impact on the Little. This process helps us make sure that we are setting up all of our matches to succeed and form a life-changing friendship!
Supporting a child in a challenging situation can be difficult, but when the parent, Little, Big, and case manager are all working together to do what’s best for the Little, we get to see some pretty inspiring outcomes. I absolutely love what I do.