Community Based Mentoring2019-09-20T11:22:37-05:00
COMMUNITY BASED MENTORING

Community Based Mentoring pairs youth impacted by foster care ages seven and older with a one-to-one volunteer mentor for a minimum of one year. We are proud that the majority of SLM matches last much longer–an average of 4.5 years.

Mentors meet young people in the communities where they live for at least eight hours a month, engaging in activities that encourage skills development and build strong relationships. Mentors and mentees also attend group events hosted by SLM, with other matches. For many youth, their mentors are the only consistent adults in their lives who are not paid to spend time with them.

The foster care system presents unique challenges. In order to best support the needs of youth and mentors, Silver Lining’s program staff is composed of clinically-trained social workers. Social workers provide one-to-one social and emotional support to youth, and serve as resource-brokers to external services as needed, such as mental health, vocational, or educational programs. Importantly, they also support mentors in establishing a relationship with their mentees when challenges arise and in celebrating milestones.

Community Based Mentoring pairs youth impacted by foster care ages seven and older with a one-to-one volunteer mentor for a minimum of one year. We are proud that the majority of SLM matches last much longer–an average of 4.5 years.

Mentors meet young people in the communities where they live for at least eight hours a month, engaging in activities that encourage skills development and build strong relationships. Mentors and mentees also attend group events hosted by SLM, with other matches. For many youth, their mentors are the only consistent adults in their lives who are not paid to spend time with them.

The foster care system presents unique challenges. In order to best support the needs of youth and mentors, Silver Lining’s program staff is composed of clinically-trained social workers. Social workers provide one-to-one social and emotional support to youth, and serve as resource-brokers to external services as needed, such as mental health, vocational, or educational programs. Importantly, they also support mentors in establishing a relationship with their mentees when challenges arise and in celebrating milestones.

staff-mentee-community-mentoring-slm

Build-A-Match: A Cohort Program for Younger Youth

Building off the success of the cohort structure of its Learn & Earn program, SLM created Build-A-Match, or BAM. BAM pairs youth in residential placements with volunteer SLM mentors. For six weeks, youth, mentors, and SLM social workers meet for weekly workshops focused on relationship-building. After those six weeks, youth continue to meet with their mentors on a regular basis as part of the Community Based Mentoring program.

Build-A-Match focuses on introducing youth to mentoring at a younger age, allowing them to build resiliency during a time when relationship-building can have a maximum impact on their healthy emotional development. Additionally, it allows for a safe on-ramp to the mentoring process for youth and mentors alike, as they build their relationships with the support of a cohort.

Become a Build-A-Match Partner Program

Does your program work with groups of youth impacted by foster care ages 7-13? Would you like to introduce trained, long-term caring mentors to their services? If so, we would love to discuss partnering with you on a Build-A-Match cohort! For more information, please click the button below or email Christina Haines, Director of Programs, at christina@silverliningmentoring.org.

Learn More about Becoming a Build-a-Match Partner Program

SUCCESS STORY

Andrea and Jennifer

Andrea and Jennifer were matched through SLM’s Learn and Earn opportunity in 2014 and have continued as a match through the Community Based mentoring opportunity for over 4 years. Andrea shares that, “Something my mentor Jennifer has helped me with is pushing myself in difficult situations like public speaking, and learning to swim. Jennifer really helped me to push myself to get on a water trampoline during our annual camping trip even though it was very difficult and I wanted to give up. She gently pushed me until we accomplished our goal of getting on that water trampoline and it was nothing but good laughs after. I appreciate her lesson on perseverance and never giving up no matter how hard a task may seem.”

Jennifer and Andrea