Big Brothers Big Sisters of Pictou County has been granted accreditation for having successfully met the review standards outlined by the national governing body, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Canada.
Margie Grant-Walsh, executive director of the local organization states, “The process is most welcome here in Pictou County; we want to have the opportunity to be reviewed in all ways possible to ensure quality of service and child safety. Our community has put many hours of effort and teamwork to build this organization to what it is today, and we are proud of that. We can take pride in the fact that children in our programs will receive quality service delivery, they will be safe, our funds are handled in a fiscally responsible way and we have a strong strategic plan.”
To continually ensure maximum child safety and the pursuit of organizational excellence, Big Brothers Big Sisters review process for its member agencies has been in existence for more than 25 years.
The national accreditation program is conducted by professionally trained accreditors who must complete accreditation training given by Big Brothers Big Sisters of Canada.
The accreditation certificate is granted upon approval of agency practices in the areas of child safety, service delivery, and organizational excellence which includes a consultative process with agency volunteers, parents and board members, assurance of sound fiscal management practices, and agency strategic planning.
Each agency within the Big Brothers Big Sisters of Canada organization is accredited every five years. Agencies also participate in a mid-term evaluation as an interim measure ensuring adherence to national standards.
Big Brothers Big Sisters of Pictou County not only passed but scored a 98 per cent in organizational compliance, 92 per cent in service delivery compliance which falls in the “exceptional” category, particularly for a mid-sized agency.
The accreditation process is a thorough one and takes place over one-year preparation period. Accreditors spent two full days onsite meeting with stakeholders, funders, reviewing finances, service delivery and administrative policies and procedures as well as all programs. The agency also went through a self-review process that helped establish a solid strategic plan.
The president of the local agency, Trish Fraser says, “ As a board we are extremely proud of these accreditation results. We are grateful to have such a strong, knowledgeable staff that keep the youth of our community in the heart of everything they do. We celebrate them, their hard work and dedication every chance we get. This is a gold star to certainly be proud of!”
Big Brothers Big Sisters of Pictou County has been serving community Pictou County for 40 years and Antigonish County for 22 years and is committed to serving children and youth by providing them with quality mentoring relationships with volunteers. They are currently serving over 325 children.
Margie Grant-Walsh, executive director of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Pictou County, displays the accreditation certificate the local agency has received. (Submitted photo)