Silver Lining Mentoring serves youth ages 7 and older who have been impacted by the foster care system. Young people we work with have been removed from their families of origin through no fault of their own due to issues of abuse and neglect. The majority of young people we currently serve are teens; all of whom have chosen to be part of our Mentors and/or Leaders programs. Our youth tend to live throughout greater Boston in group homes and residential programs and are typically referred to Silver Lining Mentoring by the Department of Children and Families (DCF).
Youth referred to Silver Lining Mentoring are in need of a mentor because they have no visiting resources, have moved far away from their biological families, and/or have had multiple foster care placements. Our programs address the problematic fact that frequent transitions in homes, schools, and communities leave youth in foster care with few, if any, consistent positive relationships.
Silver Lining Mentoring’s programming is effective for our target population due to the specialization of our intake process, program activities, and ongoing support. Mentors undergo an extensive screening, training and interview process. They participate in an information session, an interview, and receive 9 hours of intensive pre-service training on topics such as trauma, abuse and neglect, attachment, and cultural responsiveness.
Silver Lining Mentoring understands that youth exiting foster care face intense challenges and emotional barriers and has implemented a policy in which youth never “age out” of our mentoring programs. At Silver Lining Mentoring, youth can continue to participate in our programs regardless of whether they have aged out of the child welfare system. Our objective is for mentees to understand that while foster care and “aging out” present uncontrollable changes in their lives, involvement in Silver Lining Mentoring’s programs can provide support, solidarity, and opportunities for growth to help them transition to adulthood.
Silver Lining Mentoring relies on partners to refer youth to our program. We work hard to provide natural supports for youth who may not otherwise experience these important relationships. Our average match lasts nearly five years, which is more than six times the national average for mentoring relationships. We are deeply invested in high-quality mentorship and therefore provide extensive strengths-based trauma-informed training and ongoing clinical support to our volunteer mentors. Our mentors are dedicated to their mentees; let us provide a youth in care with a caring adult mentor today.
Refer a Youth
Massachusetts Department of Children and Families (DCF) staff and partner programs may refer a youth by contacting Silver Lining Mentoring’s Programming staff at (617) 209-5172.
All youth must meet the following requirements to become involved with Silver Lining Mentoring programs:
- Be currently involved with DCF and/or have experience in the foster care system.
- Be at least 7 years old or older to receive a Mentor, and/or 16 years or older to be a Leader.
- Live in the Boston Metro area (within Rt. 95/128) for the next year.
- Qualify for FamilyNet funding.
Priority is given to youth who lack consistent supportive adults and are at high risk of placement disruption/transition.