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What Would Proposed Federal Budget Cuts Mean For Big Brothers Big Sisters?

Big Brothers Big Sisters of America and its 371 agencies receive approximately 15 percent of their budget from Federal Government sources. These losses would have a detrimental impact on the numbers of children, volunteers and families we serve. The cuts would also negatively impact the staff who carefully match mentors and mentees and provide the ongoing support that keeps the matches together long-term, leading to successful outcomes.

Big Brothers Big Sisters estimates approximately 33,833 children and their families and as many volunteers could lose their mentoring service and support if House budget passes. More than 500 Big Brothers Big Sisters jobs would be in jeopardy.

Independent studies find children served by Big Brothers Big Sisters, those facing adversity –living in poverty, dealing with parental incarceration or growing up with one parent – disproportionately represent youths in the juvenile justice system. Big Brothers Big Sisters’ mentoring is backed by independently proven youth outcomes – educational success; higher aspirations and improved confidence; and avoidance of risky, delinquent behaviors.

What You Can Do to Help

Here are some ways you can connect with your elected federal officials:

  1. Attend a member-sponsored town hall meeting or other public function with a bunch of people who like you, care about Big Brothers Big Sisters.
  2. Organize a group visit to the members’ office. Call to schedule an appointment with the member or if the member is unavailable, with the lead staff on children’s issues.
  3. Make phone calls and send e-mails to your member’s office expressing your support of programs that fund Big Brothers Big Sisters and the children that we serve.

Share these facts:

  • While Big Brothers Big Sisters agrees we as a nation must rein in spending, we also believe it makes no sense to cut programs that have such a large return on investment. Specifically, Big Brothers Big Sisters opposes a 45% reduction in the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Mentoring Programs budget and the elimination of all funding for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Mentoring Children of Prisoners Program.
  • Improving the odds now for children who face adversity through support of Big Brothers Big Sisters will have a tremendous positive return on our investment for future generations. Positive outcomes for children served will mean more high school graduates and fewer incarcerations; in other words with more tax payers instead of tax users.
  • Big Brothers Big Sisters supports families, communities and schools by changing the life trajectory of children who face adversity by:
    • Increasing their opportunity to achieve in school
    • Helping them avoid risky/delinquent behaviors
    • Improving their aspirations/self-esteem

Note: Visit congress.org to obtain contact information for your Members of Congress