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Lancaster Big Brothers Big Sisters to close

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LANCASTER, Pa — The Board of Directors of Big Brothers Big Sisters (BBBS) of Lancaster has made a strategic decision to close the agency’s Lancaster office.

The Lancaster community has been very supportive of the Big Brothers Big Sisters mission for many years and the Board feels strongly that it needed to identify quality options to continue to grow the mentoring service in a more efficient way. Service to children and families is the number one priority of the Lancaster Board of Directors.

The agency is closing and relinquishing its service territory to Big Brothers Big Sisters of America but the local Board of Directors has been in contact with Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Capital Region about possible expansion of service into Lancaster County. After careful consideration, the Board feels this is the best solution to continue providing valuable mentoring services to a greater number of children in Lancaster County while being better stewards of the community’s resources.

Among the benefits of another Big Brothers Big Sisters with a larger footprint are lower administrative costs, the ability to provide quality services at a lower cost per match and expertise to grow the number of matches in our area faster. Through much due diligence and review of our generous community support, it was determined BBBS of Lancaster County could maintain the current matches, but growth would remain a challenge. Serving more children in caring mentoring relationships is better in the long run for the community.

Children who have a Big Brothers Big Sisters’ mentor do better in school, get along better with peers and adults, avoid risky behaviors such as drug and alcohol use, and are more likely to graduate from high school. We contribute to breaking cycles of substance abuse, poverty, and incarceration.

It has been shown by the Washington State Institute for Public Policy that for every dollar spent on Big Brothers Big Sisters’ mentoring, there is a tax payer return of up to $3.28. The Board of Directors feels this is the best
solution to provide service in a more efficient manner and maintain fiduciary responsibility.

Families and the Big Brothers and Big Sisters enrolled with the Lancaster agency have been notified of the agency closure. Once Big Brothers Big Sisters of America approves Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Capital Region to serve the Lancaster region, all matches will be reassessed to ensure continued quality and support. We are hopeful the children in the program will be matched with the same Big, if that is what is best for the child. We are confident that Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Capital Region will serve the children and families of Lancaster County for years to come.

Source: Big Brothers Big Sisters press release