Referral of a young person to BBBS
BBBS works with a variety of different agencies, throughout Ireland, to ensure that young people can access the BBBS community-based mentoring programme. BBBS receives referrals from agencies such as Foróige projects and services, Túsla Services: Family Support, Psychology, Social Work, CAMH’s, Education Welfare Officers; the Gardai, schools and the school completion programme etc.
Referral forms can be accessed by contacting the BBBS staff person in your local area. You can get contact details for your nearest BBBS Officer here. The programme accepts referrals of young people between the ages of 10 and 18 years that have needs appropriate to volunteer intervention. Information on the programme is shared with a referred young person and their parent/guardian and they are offered the opportunity to voluntarily participate in the programme by completing an application form. There is an application process to the programme which will determine if the programme is suitable to meet their needs. The initial commitment to the programme is for one year and meetings with a Big Brother/ Big Sister take place on a weekly basis (1-2 hours). Each match is supported by a BBBS Staff Officer.
During the term of the BBBS Evaluation Study, the HSE made 35% of referrals to the programme from a range of sources, including social workers and family support workers. Foróige itself was the next largest referral agent, accounting for 25% of all referrals. The remaining referrals were made by ‘other services’ (19%), parents (12%) and schools (9%).
Growth through Partnerships
Foróige, a registered affiliate organisation with Big Brothers Big Sisters International is rolling out the programme on a national basis. Part of this process is the development of partnerships with relevant agencies and services. As part of the strategy planning the programme may be delivered to internal, external and strategic partners.
The Foróige ethos will be reflected in the delivery of the BBBS programme, and will include:
• The involvement of adult volunteers in the programme.
• Active learning throughout the term of the match.
• The provision of an outlet for the young person to socialise in a safe environment.
• The active involvement of the young people in all appropriate aspects of the process (before, during and in the closing of the match) and in particular in deciding on all aspects of the match activities.
• Young people make a positive contribution to their own development and the development of society.
How to become a Partner
To find out more about becoming a Registered Partner with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Ireland, please contact Mary at 091 554420.
Partner Projects currently providing the Big Brothers Big Sisters Service
Ballybane Youth Development Project
Knocknacarra Youth Development Project
BAN project - Ballybane
Ballybane Adventure Project
The CRIB Youth Project and Health Cafe, Sligo Town
South Leitrim Neighbourhood Youth Project
Youghal Garda Youth Diversion Project
Carrigaline Youth Initiative, Cork
The Healthy Living Project, Skibbereen Youth Cafe.
Ballina Neighbourhood Youth Project Castlebar Neighbourhood Youth Project
Boyle Neighbourhood Youth Project
Castlerea Neighbourhood Youth Project
Tallaght Youth Service
Blanchardstown Youth Services
Balbriggan Youth Service
The Port GYDP
To find out more about becoming a registered partner with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Ireland, contact Mary at 091 554420.