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Big Sisters of Greater New Orleans (LA) - A Preliminary Impact Evaluation of a Volunteer Program

NCJ Number
L Marye
Date Published
76 pages
This preliminary impact evaluation covers the first 21 months of operation of the Big Sisters Program of Greater New Orleans (Louisiana) which has matched girls in need of adult female companionship with Big Sister volunteers since 1975.
During the first 21 months of grant operations, the program matched 45 'little sisters' with 'big sister' volunteers and exceeded the goal of 50 matches in 24 months on a prorated basis by 3 percent. The average length of a first match for first year participants was 216 days for terminated cases and 334 days for those still alive. Case folders documented 1.54 contacts per month between big and little sisters, considerably less than the 4 percent contacts per month envisioned. Comments were received on a total of 12 matched little sisters on the impact of the program in improving academic performance and preventing delinquency. From the responses, eight of the matches were subjectively considered a success, with the remainder indicating mixed or negative results. The evaluation recommends that the big sisters board of directors and staff obtain a full time counselor; expand volunteer recruitment; and develop, improve, and update materials that would aid in further evaluative research such as time sheets, case files, and referral cards. Tabular data are given and an appendix contains evaluation forms.