Thursday, May 26 , 2016, 11:03 am | A Few Clouds 63º

Family Service Agency’s Big Brothers Big Sisters Program Makes an Impact

By Jon Glasoe for the Family Service Agency |


» In California, it costs nearly $50,000 per year to maintain one inmate.

» One of the most often cited reasons crime pays is because no one showed at-risk youth that there was a better way.

» Mentoring is proving to be one of the most cost-effective ways to help direct a child to becoming a contributor to the community.

The Reality

Did you know it costs only $1,500 annually to mentor a child?

The Family Service Agency is leading this impact through its Big Brothers Big Sisters program. But don’t take our word for it.

At age 9, Jose was permanently removed from his home due to his parents’ drug abuse and was placed in the foster care system. He was adopted by a family, but soon after, his adoptive father became seriously ill and died.Jose’s adoptive mother wanted him to have a mentor to help him deal with the significant changes in his life and keep him active in sports and other activities. Jose was matched with Big Brother Dan, an airman in the U.S. Air Force.

Dan has helped Jose cope with the death of his father, and taught him self-esteem and self-control of his behavior. They play basketball, swim, and their motto is, “Silly is the new cool.”

Dan has been more than a mentor to Jose, he has a good relationship with Jose’s other brothers and is seen around the Boys and Girls Club, where they often meet, being kind to the other children. He is an avid spokesman for the Big Brothers Big Sisters program and encourages his fellow service personnel to join as volunteers. Today, Jose is happy, outgoing and well-behaved. His mother is grateful to Dan for providing Jose with the consistency and positive outlook.

“Dan has been a great addition in Jose’s life,” she said. “He is consistent with Jose, they have fun, but he draws appropriate boundaries, and has taught Jose about respect and kindness.”

Give of Your Time and Talent

Consider becoming a Big. Often Bigs receive as much from the mentoring relationship as the Little. For more information about Family Service Agency’s BBBS program, please contact Bonnie Pack at 805.965.1001 x243 or .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

Give of Your Treasure

Every dollar ensures positive, long-lasting change for those we serve. Click here to make an immediate gift. Please give generously.

To discuss how you can underwrite the true cost of changing a life and having a long-term immediate impact in your community, please contact Jon Glasoe at 805.965.1001 x267 or .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address), or click here to learn more about all the FSA programs.

FSA Programs

Big Brothers Big Sisters

Youth & Family Services

» Child and family counseling
» Intensive in-home therapy
» School-based counseling
» Youth probation counseling
» Intensive in-school therapy
» Carpinteria START counseling

Senior Services

» Senior case management
» Senior mental health
» Caregiver mental health and support services

Family Support & Information Services

» Family resource centers

The Family Service Agency is Santa Barbara County’s oldest non-sectarian human services nonprofit. For more than 113 years, FSA has delivered essential services to our community’s most vulnerable children, families and seniors. We are committed to providing services where they are needed most — out in the community — but we need your help to do so.

We focus on prevention and provide the information, advocacy, counseling and case management that results in accessibility to basic needs like food, clothing, shelter, and medical and mental health care. FSA demonstrates measurable results in improving the quality of life for those we serve and has long been regarded as one of Santa Barbara County’s most reliable and effective human services organizations. FSA combines clinical expertise, cultural sensitivity, bilingual and bicultural staff, and close collaboration with other agencies.

At FSA, all services are provided for free or on a sliding-fee/donation scale and no one is denied assistance because of an inability to pay.

— Jon Glasoe is the director of development for the Family Service Agency.

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