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Are youth mentoring programs good value-for-money? An evaluation of the Big Brothers Big Sisters Melbourne program

Moodie, Marjory L. and Fisher, Jane 2009, Are youth mentoring programs good value-for-money? An evaluation of the Big Brothers Big Sisters Melbourne program, B M C Public Health, vol. 9, no. 41, pp. 1-9.

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Title Are youth mentoring programs good value-for-money? An evaluation of the Big Brothers Big Sisters Melbourne program
Author(s) Moodie, Marjory L.
Fisher, Jane
Journal name B M C Public Health
Volume number 9
Issue number 41
Start page 1
End page 9
Total pages 9
Publisher BioMed Central Ltd.
Place of publication London, England
Publication date 2009-01-30
ISSN 1471-2458
Summary Background : The Big Brothers Big Sisters (BBBS) program matches vulnerable young people with a trained, supervised adult volunteer as mentor. The young people are typically seriously disadvantaged, with multiple psychosocial problems.

Methods : Threshold analysis was undertaken to determine whether investment in the program was a worthwhile use of limited public funds. The potential cost savings were based on US estimates of life-time costs associated with high-risk youth who drop out-of-school and become adult criminals. The intervention was modelled for children aged 10–14 years residing in Melbourne in 2004.

Results : If the program serviced 2,208 of the most vulnerable young people, it would cost AUD 39.5 M. Assuming 50% were high-risk, the associated costs of their adult criminality would be AUD 3.3 billion. To break even, the program would need to avert high-risk behaviours in only 1.3% (14/1,104) of participants.

Conclusion : This indicative evaluation suggests that the BBBS program represents excellent 'value for money'.
Notes This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Language eng
Field of Research 111704 Community Child Health
Socio Economic Objective 920501 Child Health
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
ERA Research output type C Journal article
HERDC collection year 2009
Copyright notice ©2009, Moodie and Fisher
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30019480

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Every reasonable effort has been made to ensure that permission has been obtained for items included in DRO. If you believe that your rights have been infringed by this repository, please contact drosupport@deakin.edu.au.