Public/Private Ventures (P/PV)

Legacy Collection

Innovation. Research. Action.

After almost 35 years Public/Private Ventures (P/PV) has ceased operations. The organization leaves behind an incredible legacy of knowledge, including hundreds of research reports, case studies and evaluations about how best to improve programs and outcomes for children, youth and families. We are fortunate that P/PV has decided to archive its publications collection with the Foundation Center's IssueLab so that practitioners can benefit from this knowledge for years to come.

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Big Brothers/Big Sisters: A Study of Volunteer Recruitment and Screening

October 1, 2004

This is one of four P/PV reports on mentoring programs associated with Big Brothers/Big Sisters of America (BBBSA). It describes how BBBS agencies recruit potential volunteers, who is most likely to respond to current outreach efforts, and which techniques are used to attract minority volunteers. The study also investigates the intake process and makes recommendations for its improvement.

Making a Difference: An Impact Study of Big Brothers/Big Sisters (Re-issue of 1995 Study)

September 15, 2000

This is a reissue of P/PV's 1995 impact study of Big Brothers Big Sisters, Making a Difference, which proved that BBBS' high-quality mentoring has tangible and significant effects on the lives of youth. Researchers examined the lives of 1,000 10- to 16-year-olds who applied to Big Brothers Big Sisters for mentors. More than 60 percent of them were boys; more than half were members of minority groups, mostly African American. Over 80 percent came from impoverished families, approximately 40 percent were from homes with a history of drug or alcohol abuse, and almost all were being raised by a single parent. Half of these young people were matched with a mentor, while the rest stayed on the waiting list. Eighteen months later, the differences between the two groups were surprising: weekly meetings with a mentor for (on average) a year had reduced first-time drug use by almost half and first-time alcohol use by a third, had cut school absenteeism by half, improved parental and peer relationships, and gave the youth confidence in doing their school work.

Mentoring: A Synthesis of P/PV's Research: 1988-1995

September 19, 1996

This is an essential handbook for anyone interested in mentoring. It presents the evidence and conclusions that P/PV compiled from over a decade of research on mentoring programs in five crucial areas:Can participating in mentoring programs make important and observable changes in the attitudes and behaviors of at-risk youth?Are there specific practices that characterize effective mentoring relationships?What program structures and supports are needed to maximize "best practices" among mentors?Can mentoring be integrated into large-scale youth-serving institutions?Are there large numbers of adults with enough flexible time and emotional resources to take on the demands of mentoring at-risk youngsters?The report also includes as an appendix the executive summaries of eleven P/PV reports on mentoring.

Building Relationships With Youth in Program Settings: A Study of Big Brothers/Big Sisters

May 19, 1995

The success of mentoring programs often relies on ensuring that matched adults and youth meet long enough and often enough to establish a relationship that could generate positive changes for youth. This report draws on P/PV's research on program practices from Big Brothers/Big Sisters of America to provide a better understanding of mentoring relationships and their dynamics. Specifically, it provides insight into what helps good mentoring relationships to form, characteristics of good relationships and why they break up.

Big Brothers/Big Sisters: A Study of Program Practices

January 1, 1993

The first of four studies of the effectiveness of the BBBS model, Big Brothers/Big Sisters: A Study of Program Practices documents the implementation of the BBBS program model. The study examines the model by analyzing variation in program practice among eight BBBS agencies, which were selected, in part, to reflect differences in recruitment, screening, training, matching and supervision.

Summer Training and Education Program (STEP): Report on 1986 Experiences

April 19, 1988

The Summer Training and Education Program (STEP) was a five-site demonstration program offering two summers of remediation, life skills instruction and work experience to a randomly assigned group of economically and academically disadvantaged 14- and 15-year-olds. P/PVs early evaluation of STEP showed promising results in its ability to stem reading losses and achieve gains in math. STEP youth also increased their knowledge of sexual responsibility and were more likely to use contraceptives if they were sexually active. This report reflects on the outcomes of two cohorts of the STEP program, which includes a cost-benefit analysis of the program and its implications for future policies. STEPs operational experience and test results seem to confirm both the feasibility and importance of extended educational programming during the summers for high-risk students.

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