The Good Shepherd Services Mentoring Program
As part of an ongoing effort to address the needs of the participants in our foster care programs, Good Shepherd Services created the Mentor Program.
The overall vision of our mentoring program is to provide our program participants with access to positive adult role models that will significantly enhance their social and academic achievement.
By linking our participants with dedicated, caring, and supportive professionals, our program will help them increase their self-esteem, develop new aspirations, while building skills and interests related to their education, recreation, and future careers.
We believe that every young person in foster care deserves the support they need to transition into adulthood and independent living.
What’s a Mentor?
A mentor is a consistent and caring advisor, educator, and friend.
Mentors are dedicated, supportive, and trusted companions. They assist in the development of positive relationships with adults for our participants.
Specific Mentor Requirements:
- Mentors must demonstrate sensitivity to the special needs of our young people, the ability to maintain appropriate adult/youth boundaries, and preserve confidentiality.
- Mentors must agree to screening interviews, reference and criminal record checks, clearance through the New York State Child Abuse Registry, and medical clearance including TB testing. The screenings are a requirement of our licensing and funding sources.
- Mentors must be willing to participate in initial orientation and training as well as ongoing training, supervision, and support.
- Mentors must make a one-year commitment. (Applies to one-to-one mentorship only)
- Plan recreational and cultural outings with their mentees
- Provide access to educational and vocational opportunities
- Help young people make lasting connections within and outside their community
- Facilitate more positive relationships with peers and others
Our mentors are carefully screened prior to being assigned a mentee. They receive training, guidance, and ongoing support from our mentor coordinator and program staff. The mentor/mentee relationship is tracked in order to ensure that both are safe, benefitting from the relationship, and meeting consistently.
Mentors spend regularly scheduled, structured time with their mentee on and off-site. Generally, we ask for a commitment of at least two evenings a month for a period of one year. The initial few meetings must take place on our premises, but later mentors and mentees typically opt to spend time off-site.
To become a mentor or learn more about the Good Shepherd Services Mentoring Program, please contact Damien Tillman, the Coordinator of Mentoring Services and Resource Development: Damien_Tillman@goodshepherds.org
Please note that mentees must be a participant in a Good Shepherd program.