Programs that provide companionship, guidance and/or role models for adults who are disadvantaged because of age, income, physical or developmental disability or other personal problems and who need friendship and support to improve their personal and social functioning.
Programs like Big Brothers or Big Sisters which provide male or female adult companionship, guidance and/or role models for young men or women who are from families in which adult figures of the same sex are absent or available on a limited and inadequate basis or who are troubled and at risk for delinquency. Also included are programs in which people in their teens provide companionship for younger children.
Programs that offer the services of volunteers who have admirable qualities of character and are willing to serve as role models for youth who are troubled and at risk for delinquency, adults who are disadvantaged by poverty, health conditions or other problems or other special populations who need the friendship and support of a peer to improve their personal and social functioning. The volunteers are usually of a particular age, gender, cultural background or other status that clients can identify with.
The above terms and definitions are part of the Taxonomy of Human Services, used here by permission of INFO LINE of Los Angeles.