Big Brothers Big Sisters
- Volunteer mentoring program matches community members with disadvantaged or at-risk youth
- Program focuses on building supportive relationships instead of explicitly addressing problem behaviors
- Program design varies and can be implemented in either community or school-based settings
Strength of evidence
Evidence level: Strong (second-highest tier)
Strong (second-highest tier)
Ranked as having the highest level of evidence by the National Institute of Justice, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration; the second-highest level of evidence by Blueprints for Healthy Youth Development, Social Programs that Work, California Evidence-Based Clearinghouse for Child Welfare, County Health Rankings and Roadmaps
All school-aged children
Approximately $1,512 to create and support each match
Founded in 1904
Outcomes and impact
- Some evidence of reducing delinquent behavior and improving school outcomes
- Reduced aggressive behavior and drug use
- Improved family relationships and academic performance
Keys to successful implementation
- Note: This content is under review
- Programs should support long-lasting, continuing, and close matches, as matches of longer duration yield stronger behavioral, mental health, and academic benefits.
- Screening, training, and post-match support helps ensure strong, beneficial matches that last for extended periods.
- Training mentors, staff, and parents on trauma-informed care and social-emotional learning can help improve outcomes.