To create and support relationships that provide consistent, positive, one-to-one interaction between a single-parent child and an adult volunteer who will be an advisor and friend on the journey from childhood to adulthood.
Goals And Philosophy
The purpose of Big Brothers Big Sisters will be achieved by providing regular, personal contact on a one-to-one basis between the child and a mature adult. The premise is that the adult’s interest in and concern for the child builds a relationship based on trust that allows the child to identify with the adult. This identification with a respected adult is an essential ingredient in growing to healthy adulthood.
The one-to-one relationship is the key element in the Big Brothers Big Sisters program. Careful screening of volunteers assist in ensuring an appropriate role model; the matching process helps to assure compatibility; and the continued regular supervision by a professional Match Support Specialist gives the relationship support and guidance.
The principle focus of the program is a preventative one. The primary goal of the program is to help a child reach his or her maximum potential by focusing on the full needs of children and youth in single parent families. Children, in order to reach their fullest potential as adults, need the influence of mature, responsible and responsive adults during their formative years. Where that influence is inadequate due to parental absence, the child may be deterred in reaching his/her potential as a responsible adult. The Big Brothers Big Sisters service hopes to provide some of the key factors which are necessary for normal development and which may be missing in the lives of many children from single parent homes.
Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Bluegrass also seeks to provide services and/or referrals for services to supplement the on-to-one relationship. In this way, the agency strives to assist children from single parent homes in reaching their maximum potential.
Our Service Area
Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Bluegrass, Inc. provides services to Anderson, Bourbon, Boyle, Clark, Fayette, Franklin, Garrard, Jessamine, Madison, Mercer, Montgomery, Scott, and Woodford Counties.
Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Bluegrass History
Early in 1955, the advisory Committee to Fayette Juvenile Court began discussion concerning the possibility of forming a Big Brothers agency for Lexington. In February 1955, a meeting of persons from various community groups and clubs was held and it was agreed to seek the help of Big Brothers of America in setting up an agency to meet the needs of boys who had been appearing before the court. It was felt the boys could be rehabilitated through a Big brother program.
The Lexington community leaders and interested individuals set up a steering committee to establish a Big Brothers Agency in Lexington. August 7, 1957, Big Brothers of Lexington, Inc. was chartered as a non-profit corporation in Kentucky to serve father absent boys who because of death, divorce or imprisonment have been left without an adult male in their home.
The Big Brothers of Lexington, Inc. program was guided and developed by Executive Director, Lloyd F. Bell, from 1961 until his retirement in June 1975. Mr. Bell and a strong Board of Directors developed a top notch organization which was and is dedicated to serving children in the Bluegrass area. Big Sisters was added to our program in 1977. In 1975 Mr. Ernie Hatfield was hired as the Executive Director. As a result of his dedication and outstanding leadership, Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Bluegrasss become a regional program that today provides mentoring services to children in 14 central Kentucky counties. We now celebrate 50 years of service through enriching, encouraging and empowering children to reach their highest potential through safe, positive one-to-one mentoring relationships. We strive to successfully serve this mission through a professional staff that carefully works with both the volunteers and children to ensure that the experience of Big Brothers Big Sisters is one that is dynamic, fulfilling, memorable and fun for both the child and the volunteer.
Big Brothers Big Sisters of America
For over a century, Big Brothers and Big Sisters have helped children reach their potential through professionally supported one-to-one relationships with proven results.
In 1904, a young New York City court clerk named Ernest Coulter was seeing more and more boys come through his courtroom. He recognized that caring adults could help many of these kids stay out of trouble, and he set out to find volunteers. That marked the beginning of the Big Brothers movement. By 1916, Big Brothers had spread to 96 cities across the country.
At around the same time, the members of a group called Ladies of Charity were befriending girls who had come through the New York Children’s Court. That group would later become Catholic Big Sisters.
Both groups continued to work independently until 1977, when Big Brothers of America and Big Sisters International joined forces and became Big Brothers Big Sisters of America.
More than a century later, Big Brothers Big Sisters remains true to our founders’ vision of bringing caring mentors into the lives of children. Our focus is on prevention and keeping children out of the Juvenile Justice System - and over 10 years of local trend data demonstrates our success: 95% of our children who have been matched at least one year have not had an encounter with the Juvenile Justice system.
Big Brothers Big Sisters currently operates in all 50 states … and in 35 countries around the world!