The Big Brothers Big Sisters Match
According to the study, our one-to-one matches are the driving force behind making an impact on children. A Big Brothers Big Sisters’ match is carefully administered and held to the strictest standards. Agency staff strives for matches that are not only safe and well suited to each child’s needs, but also harmonious and built to last. The entire matching process, from the initial screening to the final pairing—and beyond—is made possible by your financial support.
But don’t just think of us as simply matchmakers. We provide ongoing support and supervision to the Big, the Little, and the Little’s family. We offer training and advice to help ensure that the match is working for everyone involved. And our local agencies even receive their own ongoing training and consulting from the Big Brothers Big Sisters national office. It is this web of support that helps maximize the likelihood that a Big Brothers Big Sisters relationship will thrive.
The study found that Big Brothers Big Sisters’ matches consistently spend more time together, and continue as a match for longer periods, than those in other mentoring programs which Public/Private Ventures has studied.
According to the study, Big Brothers Big Sisters programs were found to “focus less on specific problems after they occur, and more on meeting youths’ most basic developmental needs.”
The matches that were observed shared everyday activities: eating out, playing sports or attending sports events, going to movies, sightseeing, and just hanging out together.
But what mattered to the children were not the activities. It was the fact that they had a caring adult in their lives. Because they had someone to confide in and to look up to, they were, in turn, doing better in school and at home. And at a time in their lives when even small choices can change the course of their future, the Littles were also avoiding violence and substance abuse.
In addition to the lives of Littles being changed for the better, the impact is contagious.
Public/Private Ventures, a national research organization with more than 30 years of experience in studying child development and social service issues, conducted the independent research.
The study was funded by the Lilly Endowment, the Commonwealth Fund, the Pew Charitable Trusts, and an anonymous donor.