BFT’s Mentoring Program
|About the Mentoring Program:The mentoring program at Bringing Families Together (BFT) is a completely volunteer based program matching adults in the community with foster care children and youth from ages 8-20 years old. Far too many kids in Foster Care have not had consistent healthy adult relationships throughout their life. It is pinnacle for these children and youth to have consistency and sometimes that rarely happens as often foster parents, therapists, case workers, and Judges change. Therefore the goal of the BFT Mentoring Program is to create life-long healthy relationships that will help children and youth in foster care be successful and have ongoing support. Statistics show that children and youth in foster care that have mentors have significantly better outcomes in life.
About the Commitment: The Mentoring Program at Bringing Families Together asks volunteers to make at least a year commitment to their Mentee, with the hopes that their relationship will last a lifetime. We request that the Mentors see the Mentees weekly as a norm. The actual total hours a month will vary depending on the match and scheduling, but Mentors need to see their mentees at least 4 hours a month. These expectations have been put into place because many of our children and youth have been let down by other adults in their lives and we want their mentor relationship to be something that it dependable and predictable. Scheduling is up to the Mentor, the child, and the placement provider (foster parent in most cases) and whatever works best for all schedules. It might work better for the Mentor to see their mentee in the evenings or maybe on the weekends. The program also requires that you complete a very brief Mentor/Mentee interaction form every time you see the child/youth. These forms are submitted monthly to the Mentoring Coordinator and are a way for us to monitor the relationship and make sure everything is going well!
What do I do as a Mentor? How you spend your time with your Mentee is completely up to you and the child/youth! Many Mentors/mentees enjoy doing community activities such as going to the zoo, a sporting event, eating out, or going to the park. Some weeks Mentors might just hang out with their Mentee in their foster home playing a game, doing a craft or project together, working on life skills like learning how to cook, or working on homework. Maybe your Mentee needs help with daily skills such as learning how to interview or fill out a job application, learning how to use public transportation, or applying for financial aid. The range of activities is endless and part of your Mentor relationship will be helping the child/youth explore how they want the match to go and what their goals and interests are.
Sign me up! What’s Next?
Thank you for your interest in becoming a Mentor, we are excited to get you started in the process! You may contact the Mentoring Coordinator directly for more information or begin with the “Steps to Complete” which are below:
Ashleigh Poteete, B.S.
BUT, THIS ISN’T THE END OF THE STORY. YOU CAN HELP BY BECOMING A MENTOR!
|Steps to Complete:All forms needed are available at the right of this page.
1. Mentor Application
This gives us general information about you used in matching you with a youth and also gives us information needed to start background checks.
**Please complete this as soon as possible and submit it to the Mentoring Coordinator so we can start initial checks
2. Personal Reference Forms
We require 3 personal non-relative references. This is a very basic form that will only take 5 minutes for your references to complete. You can have your references send their completed form directly to the Mentoring Coordinator, or they can give the form to you and you can pass it on to the Coordinator.
3. Set up an Interview/Meet and Greet with the Mentoring Coordinator
This will give you a chance to meet and talk about the program more in depth. This will also give you an opportunity to get the necessary information to complete your finger printing checks required for the program. Initial training, which is provided by the Coordinator will also be discussed.
4. Complete the initial training and become matched with a child/youth!