What are the objectives of BIG BROTHERS BIG SISTERS (BBBS) mentoring relationships?

BIG BROTHERS BIG SISTERS (BBBS) seeks to establish matches between youth (Littles) and volunteer adults (Bigs) that result in consistent interaction and a high level of relationship quality, marked by friendship, bonding and trust. Risks are diminished through supportive adult involvement; the caring adult volunteer focuses on the youth’s interests, strengths, and resources rather than the youth’s deficits or the deficits in their environment.

Initially, case managers interview each youth and their guardian and then, at the first match meeting with the volunteer, they set goals aimed at ensuring a mutually satisfying relationship and promoting growth in the youth in identified attitudes, behaviors, and skills such as school attendance and performance, parent/peer/sibling relationships, skills/hobbies, hygiene, etc. Interactions are not prescribed, but are aimed at:

  • decreasing or delaying antisocial activities
  • improving academic performance, attitudes and behaviors
  • improving relationships with family and friends
  • strengthening self-concept
  • providing social and cultural enrichment

Sites are also encouraged by the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency (PCCD) to educate volunteers of the outcomes demonstrated in the Public/Private Ventures research that has made BBBS a Blueprints program and to aid volunteers in understanding their role in pursuing frequent interaction and choosing activities that can lead to proven long-term positive outcomes. The report on the Public/Private Ventures research study, Making A Difference: An Impact Study of Big Brothers Big Sisters, can be assessed at: http://www.epis.psu.edu/ebp/BBBS

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