Any volunteers that have the privilege of working with children must go through an extensive clearing process. This is a step by step guide on what the requirements are for becoming a mentor, as well as resources to assist mentors once they are matched.
Step 1: Completing a volunteer application
The first step in beginning the mentor process is completing a volunteer application. A Family For Every Child's volunteer application requires all volunteers to sign a confidentiality statement. This means that all volunteers are subject to liability if they reveal confidential or identifying information about a child. This is particularly poignant for mentors since they spend one on one time with the child/children.
The volunteer application also lists a series of mentor questions to help staff identify what the mentor's interests and hobbies are, as well as what their lifestyle might be like. It is not mandatory to complete the entire questionnaire when filling out the volunteer application, because all mentors must also complete an in home interview.
Step 2: In-Home Interview
All mentors must participate in an in-home interview. An AFFEC staff member will contact you in order to schedule a time when which he or she may come to the potential mentor's home and talk with them about the program as well as what the mentor envisions what the mentor/mentee relationship will look like.
The AFFEC representative may review questions that were originally on the volunteer application for further clarification. Mentor volunteers, and any other adults in the home who may be a party to the mentorship, are fingerprinted at this time.
Step 3: The Background Check
All mentors are subject to a criminal background check. The potential mentor's fingerprints are taken during the in-home interview, and then sent to the state and the FBI. Background checks usually take 1—3 weeks to be fully processed, and must come back "approved" for a mentor to be matched with a child.
Step 4: Mentor Orientation
Furthermore, mentors are required to attend a mentor orientation. The mentor orientation reviews important topics, such as the program's requirements, the population we work with, the mentor match process, mandatory reporting, effective communication, and match closure. The orientation is the first step in learning about mentoring and working with a child, however, the orientation should not be expected to have "all the answers." For this reason, mentor volunteers also receive monthly training webinars and access to extra resources.