Big Brothers - Big Sisters (BB-BS)

Staff involved: Angela Lawless & Catherine Hurley

The YWCA's Big Brothers Big Sisters program is based on the simplicity and power of friendship. Children need to feel valued and important and to have a special friend who listens and spends quality time with the child. The program assists young people aged 7-17 years old who are isolated and need additional adult support and friendship. A 1995 impact study of the program in the US found that the children in the program were: less likely to use illegal drugs, less likely to use alcohol, less likely to skip school and interacted better with their families, than children outside the program.

Angela Lawless and Catherine Hurley will be evaluating the program over the next 2 years. The evaluation aims to establish the effectiveness of the program by measuring the children's behaviour, social relationships and mental behaviour over the course of the program. It will involve in-depth interviews with some of the Mentor-Children pairs as well as questionnaires to all children in the program.