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What is Big Brothers Big Sisters?
Big Brothers Big Sisters is Australia’s leading mentoring program for disadvantaged young people supported by 100 years of international experience and expertise. Our aim is to unlock the potential of young people through the provision of the highest quality mentoring programs.
At Big Brothers Big Sisters we believe that every young person in Australia should feel valued and important. Research has demonstrated that our mentoring services can empower young people to reach their potential, make positive changes in their behaviour, and build self-worth and trust in their relationships at home and school.
The programs are based on the simplicity and power of friendship.
Who do we mentor?
Our mentoring programs match vulnerable young people, aged between 7 and 17 years living in complex social predicaments and in need of additional support, with adult volunteer mentors.
Young people assisted by Big Brothers Big Sisters may be identified by one or more of the following characteristics:
- Living in low income households and entrenched cycles of unemployment and poverty
- Having parents with psychiatric illness, intellectual disability or an addiction
- Having exposure to family violence or child abuse
- Possessing poor socialisation skills, having difficulties making friends and have experienced bullying
- Experiencing learning difficulties at school or displaying behavioural concerns
- Experiencing family breakdown and/or residing in foster care or residential care placements
- Possessing an intellectual disability
How are children referred to the program?
Approximately 30% of young people are referred by their parents or grandparents. The remaining referrals come from schools, youth and family support agencies, foster care agencies, Child Protection Services and disability programs.
However enrollment in our program requires approval and participation by a child's parent or legal guardian. All parents must want their children to be in our program, and all children must want a mentor.