Big Brothers Big Sisters is a programme run by the Oxford Hub and Oxfordshire County Council Children's Services. It is based in the previous experience of two long-term volunteers within Children's Services, who have added capacity to social workers by providing support to children in the service. We matched 22 volunteers to 24 children in our first year of operation and the summary evaluation of Year 1 can be found here.
You can find detailed information for social workers below. If you are ready to refer a child to the programme, you can get in touch with us using the form at the bottom of the page and we will get back in touch to answer any questions you may have and provide you with a referral form.
Who can I refer to the Big Brothers Big Sisters programme for support?
Any child of primary school age (6-11 years old) that you may be supporting under a Child in Need or Child Protection Plan, in a kinship or other foster placement qualifies to get support from a Big Brother or Big Sister, for example:
A child whose current parents / carers are not able to provide them with lots of opportunities to try different activities and develop their interests beyond school.
A child who is living with their family or in a kinship placement, where the family needs additional support and would benefit from respite.
A child who could benefit from a positive adult role model
The main requirement is that as a Child Social Worker you can support the volunteer, and incorporate them into the care plan in a way that complements priorities for the child.
What is the role of the Child’s Social Worker in the programme?
The priority is for the Big Brothers Big Sisters programme to be embedded within Children’s Services, adding support to social workers. This means that you need to provide ongoing support and supervision to the Big Sibling who volunteers supporting one of the children in your case load.
Specifically, these are the commitments we’d expect from you:
Referring the child to the Big Brothers Big Sisters programme and answering any questions relating to the referral form
Signing off on a suggested Big Sibling match, and meeting the volunteer to talk about the child
Introduce the Big Sibling volunteer to the child and their family
Receive and review weekly activity forms emailed by the volunteer
Check in with the volunteer at least every three months (over the phone or in person), or more regularly if necessary given the child’s care plan
If appropriate, invite the volunteer to attend any professionals meetings e.g. LAC reviews
Complete an annual evaluation form for the programme
What is the referral process and key dates?
We matched our 22 Big Siblings to 24 Little Siblings in the first year of the programme. If you are interested in referring a child to the programme please get in touch with us using the form below and we can advise you on when we will next have volunteers available.
If you have any other questions about the process, or have young person you want to refer you can request a call back on the form below, and we will get back to you within 48 hours.
Request a Call Back