Mentor Program

The Mentor Process
Sports Mentor

Mentor Program Mission Statement

The mission of A Family For Every Child's Mentor Program is to unite foster care and at-risk youth in our community with enthusiastic, dedicated, and caring adults who can provide friendship and encouragement while supporting them through life’s various transitions, instilling independence and ultimately building long lasting bonds.

Program Goals

Since the Mentor Program’s inception in 2007, the vision of the program has been to connect youth with positive members of their community to build friendships and have role models who:

  • Provide youth with support and guidance
  • Provide the youth with someone to call and hang out  "just because."
  • Provide a potentially permanent bond for the youth.
  • Teach independent living/life skills, instill creativity, and promote the youth's self esteem.

Who We Serve

A Family For Every Child’s Mentor Program serves Oregon youth in Lane County, the greater Portland area, and other areas of Western Oregon. We serve children who are at risk and in need of permanent connections due to being in foster care or have been exposed to experience that could hinder their full potential.

How Do I Refer My Youth?

Parents, caseworkers, aunts, uncles, grandparents, foster parents... almost anyone can refer a youth! A pillar of our program is that all youth participation is voluntary -- every youth in our program is in it because they want to be and no youth shall ever be forced to have a mentor. Know a youth who needs mentor?

What Does A Mentor Do?

There aren’t any typical mentor matches as we don’t have typical youth or mentors. The beauty of A Family For Every Child’s Mentor Program is that it allows for each mentor match to be distinctive. Mentors and youth are matched based upon their mutual interests, not by numbers on a waiting list. Your mentor experience will be as unique as you are! What are your interests? What are your passions? What do you like to do to pass the time? Mentoring is so easy because all you have to do is include your youth in the things you already like to do!

How Do I Become A Mentor?

Becoming a mentor doesn’t have to be a daunting process. Most mentors are matched within six weeks of submitting their application! You’ll find that it’s easier than ever to make a difference in a youth’s life.

The Mentor Process

Sports and Outdoors Mentor Program

Designed for our male youth, the Sports and Outdoor Mentor Program makes mentoring more accessible than ever. With a focus on physical activities, lower mentor age requirement and shorter 6 month commitment period, we're breaking down the barriers of male mentoring and creating new possibilities for youth who typically wait longer for their very own mentors

Non Traditional Mentor Program

New for Fall 2019, our NTMP places our Volunteers in specific locations within Lane County. We are kicking off the new program at the Eugene Library and area middle and high schools. Volunteers will be available in the Teen Center  / Family Resource Rooms to meet with youth for homework support, conversation, play a game of cards, etc. It is our belief that organic connections will be made.  After establishing a relationship with a youth for several months, transitioning to our traditional Mentor Program is always an option.

Requirements include:

19 + yrs old / 2-3 hours , once or twice a week

complete Volunteer application including 3 references/ background check

 

Mentor Program

The Mentor Process
Sports Mentor

Mentor Program Mission Statement

The mission of A Family For Every Child's Mentor Program is to unite foster care and at-risk youth in our community with enthusiastic, dedicated, and caring adults who can provide friendship and encouragement while supporting them through life’s various transitions, instilling independence and ultimately building long lasting bonds.

Program Goals

Since the Mentor Program’s inception in 2007, the vision of the program has been to connect youth with positive members of their community to build friendships and have role models who:

  • Provide youth with support and guidance
  • Provide the youth with someone to call and hang out  "just because."
  • Provide a potentially permanent bond for the youth.
  • Teach independent living/life skills, instill creativity, and promote the youth's self esteem.

Who We Serve

A Family For Every Child’s Mentor Program currently serves youth in Lane County Oregon. We have temporarly suspended the program in the greater Portland area and other areas of Western Oregon for the time being. We serve children who are at risk and in need of permanent connections due to being in foster care or have been exposed to experience that could hinder their full potential.

How Do I Refer My Youth?

Parents, caseworkers, aunts, uncles, grandparents, foster parents... almost anyone can refer a youth! A pillar of our program is that all youth participation is voluntary -- every youth in our program is in it because they want to be and no youth shall ever be forced to have a mentor. Know a youth who needs mentor?

What Does A Mentor Do?

There aren’t any typical mentor matches as we don’t have typical youth or mentors. The beauty of A Family For Every Child’s Mentor Program is that it allows for each mentor match to be distinctive. Mentors and youth are matched based upon their mutual interests, not by numbers on a waiting list. Your mentor experience will be as unique as you are! What are your interests? What are your passions? What do you like to do to pass the time? Mentoring is so easy because all you have to do is include your youth in the things you already like to do!

How Do I Become A Mentor?

Becoming a mentor doesn’t have to be a daunting process. Most mentors are matched within six weeks of submitting their application! You’ll find that it’s easier than ever to make a difference in a youth’s life.

The Mentor Process

Sports and Outdoors Mentor Program

Designed for our male youth, the Sports and Outdoor Mentor Program makes mentoring more accessible than ever. With a focus on physical activities, lower mentor age requirement and shorter 6 month commitment period, we're breaking down the barriers of male mentoring and creating new possibilities for youth who typically wait longer for their very own mentors

Virtual Mentor Program

Virtual Mentor Program

Physical Distance Does Not Mean Social Isolation

A Family For Every Child's Virtual Mentor Program provides support and guidance to youth utilizing technology versus face to face. Once social distancing has been relaxed, transitioning to our traditional Mentor Program is an option after a home visit. Communicating remotely and through technology can offer youth a bit of a "shield" or safer vantage point to share information. Sharing online as opposed to in person, they are able to compose better responses, take time to gather their emotions and opt out of a difficult conversation if needed.

How Virtual Mentoring Works

To become a Mentor in our Virtual Mentor Program, you will follow the same steps as with our traditional Mentor Program. Once matched with a youth, the Mentor will connect weekly via phone call, text, email or other electronic means. 

What Is Required To Participate?

  • 21 years old
  • Have a reliable internet connection / cell phone
  • 1 year commitment
  • Volunteer application & 3 references
  • Background check
  • Interview and Orientation
  • Option to transition to our traditional Mentor Program after an approved home visit
  • Submit a Monthly Mentor Report

Become a Volunteer Photographer of Foster Youth

A Family For Every Child's Heart Gallery is designed to bring awareness to the foster care system and children that are in search of permanent homes. We are constantly in need of professional photographers from across the country willing to volunteer their time to take beautiful pictures of children presently in foster care that are waiting for their forever family. A Family For Every Child's Heart Gallery works closely with child welfare partners to coordinate these photo sessions for the purpose of adoption recruitment. For more information about what the Heart Gallery Program, click here.

The Heart Galleries can be seen everywhere: from the grocery store to your church to the car dealership and everywhere in between. The goal of our Heart Gallery is simple-to-open the mind and heart of the viewer to the idea of adoption.

By signing up as a volunteer photographer, you are put on a mailing list to be alerted in a child in your area needs their photo taken. In return, A Family For Every Child promises to recognize the photographer on the AFFEC website, to update the photographer when the children they've photographed have been adopted, and to provide the photogrpaher with a high-resolution .jpg of the AFFEC logo for use on their website. A Family For Every Child is a 501(c)non-profit organization. Your entire donation is tax deductible.

How to join

Step 1: Complete the forms listed on our Volunteer Page, indicating your interest in becoming a volunteer photographer for the Heart Gallery.

Step 2: Read through the New Photographer Packet, which contains a welcome letter, general procedures, tips and guidelines, and photo requirements.

Step 3: Once we are notified that a foster child is in need of a photograph, we'll email any volunteer photographers in their region. If you're available to take the photo, the child's caseworker will coordinate with you to find a date and time for the photo session. During a photo session, you will never be left alone with the child.

Step 4: Once the child finds a forever home, you'll be notified that a child you've photographed has been adopted.

Tips for Photographers

  1. Please remember that you cannot transport the youth and/or their representatives. 
  2. You should not communicate with the youth prior to or after the photography session without the approval of their caseworker. You will coordinate your involvement with this youth through an authorized adult. 
  3. Be respectful of each child and worth of their trust, make them feel special. 
  4. If you feel the need to pose a child, always ask permission before you touch them.
  5. Do not ask the child why they came into foster care or any other personal details of their lives.
  6. Feel free to ask them about their interests, their hobbies. Many children open up when talking about things they are passionate about.
  7. These kids will blossom under a heavy dose of praise--let them know when they are doing well--offer encouragement--make the time together fun!
  8. For the safety of both you and the children, you are never allowed to be alone with any of the children you photograph. A caseworker, foster parent, or adult caretaker must be within line of sight and earshot of you and the child at all times.

Contact Information

Any questions or concerns can be directed to the contact information below.

Volunteer Coordinator
A Family For Every Child
541.343.2856
877.343.2856
Fax: 541-343-2866
photos@afamilyforeverychild.org

Donate Albums

While the donations of scrapbooking supplies has been enormous and we can never say “Thank you” enough. We are in desperate need of albums for all the great supplies and pages donated to the Heart Gallery to be placed in and given to a Foster Child.

DHS has requested pages in 8 1/2 x 11 format, we need albums specifically to accommodate this size of finished pages.

Do you have any unused albums of this size you no longer want or need, consider making a donation for this project! Albums can be directly donated to the Heart Gallery.

You may want to consider making a cash donation to help us purchase the supplies we need at this time. For only $25 we will be able to purchase an 8 1/2 x 11 album, page protectors and adhesive to complete a LifeBook and present it to a Child.

For more information contact:

  • Gail Van Gundy 
  • LifeBook Co-Coordinator
  • 541-525-3500(call or text)

Mentor Program

Mentor Program Mission Statement

The mission of A Family For Every Child's Mentor Program is to unite foster care and at-risk youth in our community with enthusiastic, dedicated, and caring adults who can provide friendship and encouragement while supporting them through life’s various transitions, instilling independence and ultimately building long lasting bonds.

Program Goals

Since the Mentor Program’s inception in 2007, the vision of the program has been to connect youth with positive members of their community to build friendships and have role models who:

  • Provide youth with support and guidance
  • Provide the youth with someone to call and hang out  "just because."
  • Provide a potentially permanent bond for the youth.
  • Teach independent living/life skills, instill creativity, and promote the youth's self esteem.

Who We Serve

A Family For Every Child's Mentor Program currently serves youth in Lane County Oregon as well as the greater Portland area. We serve children who are at risk and in need of permanent connections due to being in foster care or have been exposed to experience that could hinder their full potential.

How Do I Refer My Youth?

Parents, caseworkers, aunts, uncles, grandparents, foster parents... almost anyone can refer a youth! A pillar of our program is that all youth participation is voluntary -- every youth in our program is in it because they want to be and no youth shall ever be forced to have a mentor. Know a youth who needs mentor?

What Does A Mentor Do?

There aren’t any typical mentor matches as we don’t have typical youth or mentors. The beauty of A Family For Every Child’s Mentor Program is that it allows for each mentor match to be distinctive. Mentors and youth are matched based upon their mutual interests, not by numbers on a waiting list. Your mentor experience will be as unique as you are! What are your interests? What are your passions? What do you like to do to pass the time? Mentoring is so easy because all you have to do is include your youth in the things you already like to do!

How Do I Become A Mentor?

Becoming a mentor doesn’t have to be a daunting process. Most mentors are matched within six weeks of submitting their application! You’ll find that it’s easier than ever to make a difference in a youth’s life.

Non Traditional Mentor Program

*Currently paused due to COVID 19*

New for Fall 2019, our NTMP places our Volunteers in specific locations within Lane County. We are kicking off the new program at the Eugene Library and area middle and high schools. Volunteers will be available in the Teen Center  / Family Resource Rooms to meet with youth for homework support, conversation, play a game of cards, etc. It is our belief that organic connections will be made.  After establishing a relationship with a youth for several months, transitioning to our traditional Mentor Program is always an option.

Requirements include :

  • 19 + yrs old
  • 2-3 hours , once or twice a week
  • Complete our Volunteer application including 3 references / background check

Child Matching Events

What is it?

In a Child Matching Event, social workers are given the opportunity to present their child/children to an audience of home study approved families. The advantage that a Child Matching Event creates is the opportunity for a social worker to expand on and discuss their child in further detail toward families who have interest in the child.

Social Workers

 
  • Identify your child/children who you wish to present towards potential home study families. Get involved by contacting our Recruitment Coordinator for available dates.
  • Gather media (pictures, videos, audio clips, etc.) that represent your child(ren). High-quality media and a good variety are valuable towards the presentation of the child.
  • Prepare for questions that families might ask during the webinar. Review the child’s case files and identify what the child needs in a forever family. It is also important that workers share the strengths of the children along with their struggles. If possible find the contact information for others in the child’s life such as a CASA, mentor, or a foster parent who cares for them. A Family For Every Child can coordinate with these individuals to also participate in the webinar.
  • Schedule a practice event in order to test audio and ensure that the event goes smoothly the day of. At the specific date and time of the event, log on from your computer and be prepared to discuss the child you are presenting. Log on instructions and all needed info will be sent to you days prior to the event. Be prepared to answer questions about the child, as families viewing the presentation have the ability to type questions they may have.
  • Following the conclusion of the webinar, families will have the opportunity to submit their home study. Please be prepared to follow up with interested families and discuss with them if they are a good potential fit for the child, or why they may not be.
Child Matching Adopt

Families

Child Matching Events give families the opportunity to learn more about a child that they have some interest in. The advantage in these events comes from the ability to ask any questions towards the social worker and receive immediate responses. Further information on the child is presented by the social worker as well. This is often information that goes beyond a child’s bio.

The interaction through questions during the webinar are valuable for both families and social workers, as families are allowed to ask all potential questions anonymously and social workers can effectively provide information on their child in a time-efficient manner.

Any families who are interested in attending a Child Matching Event webinar must be a home study approved family. Only Adoption Workers and families with completed home studies will be approved to attend these events due to the personal and detailed information that will be provided about the children during the event. All home study families interested in a Child Matching Event will need to pre-register for the specific event that they wish to be involved in.

Match With a Foster Child.

15th Night / Host Home Overview

Why we need you!

Our Host Home program is an innovative and scalable effort that could move the needle for homeless students. It will save money and lives, but it will take a team.

Reasons you should be involved!

  • Youth who are “new” to our streets are more likely to become chronically homeless if we do not intervene within 15 nights.
  • 68.4% of homeless students scored below standards. 82.3% of homeless students scored below standard in math and 60.4% of homeless students scored below standard in science.
  • Youth that have experienced homelessness are 50% more likely not to receive a high school diploma. It is our goal to develop this program to interrupt this cycle and produce education and personal successes for 50 of these homeless youth.
  • In 2019-20 , we had 1,063 Bethel-Eugene 4J youth experiencing homelessness and 272 of them identified as unaccompanied minors.
  • For every $1 spent on youth interventions that address homelessness, the community saves $4.12 according to a New Avenues for Youth study (Portland, Oregon 2010).
  • Oregon estimates that more than 21,000 students in the state experienced homelessness in the 2019-20 school year.
  • National studies indicate that most of these youth run away due to family conflict or abuse, while others are kicked out of their home and forced to fend for themselves.
  • We had hoped for better results. The 2019-20 numbers indicate the percentage of unhoused students in the 4J and Bethel school districts have remained unchanged from the previous year at 25.7%.
  • Last school year, 15th Night Rapid Access Network (RAN) advocates sent alerts on behalf of 162 unaccompanied students with a total of 292 services and resource requested. The most common requests were for basic needs like clothing and shoes, food and shelter. As of the end of the year, 30 local youth-serving organizations (“providers”) are responding to unaccompanied student needs via the 15th Night Rapid Access Network (RAN).

What is 15th Night?

One night on the street is too many. The 15th Night is a community-wide partnership that helps the current Eugene-Springfield students that are navigating homelessness and many are unaccompanied.  Bringing together existing community resources, the 15th Night focuses on the safety and well-being of our vulnerable Eugene-Springfield youth who do not have a parent or guardian to support them. These resource teams include at least one representative from the University of Oregon, Bethel School District, Lane County Health and Human Services, the Eugene Police Department, City Councilor Ward 8, Eugene City Manager, Lane ESD, Eugene 4J School District, as well as over 30 area nonprofits.

Our latest effort is to work with individual high schools and their feeder middle schools on creating their own internal response team for homeless youth within their school. This is known as the School Mobilization Model.  Our Host Home program is, at its core, working to engage the school’s parent and teacher community, as well as local neighborhood groups and business, to wrap services and support all around these youth.  We believe this is a program/effort that is effective, innovative, and could be reproduced in any community.

Working Together To Protect Our Youth

Here in Eugene/Springfield, homelessness is a wide-spread issue that many organizations have been grappling with for years.  Many people turn to the Eugene Mission, or other shelters in our community, to seek temporary housing, especially during the cold winter months. However, if you are an unaccompanied youth and you are experiencing homelessness, you do not have access to adult shelters. This leaves youth with 12 (7 during COVID restrictions) beds at the one shelter we have for under 18 and 13 beds at another for youth indentifyling as female. Youth under the age of 18 are also unable to access many food distribution resources and resource centers due to their status as a minor. 

AFFEC's Host Home Program is licensed through the state of Oregon.  As one of the few licensed Host Home programs in the state, we are able to assist youth ages 0-15 years old. Youth 16+ and home providers are not required to go through the licensed program.  We take pride in successfully completing the licensing process  and are also very committed to assisting other blooming Host Home programs throughout the state.

The RAN technology was updated over the summer based on feedback from our community advocates and network of 30+ service providers. RAN 2.0 was successfully launched in late September and enables school specific RANs to be connected to the larger Community RAN.

The 15th Night expanded into Springfield this fall. Springfield Public Schools and the Springfield Police Department can now access the 15th Night RAN on behalf of students experiencing homelessness. Catholic Community Services, First Place Family Shelter, Whitebird Dental, and the Eugene Mission have all joined the 30+ network of providers who responded in real time to alerts.

Sometimes the 15th Night Network is unable to meet a specific need of a student. This is where our Community Responder volunteers step into action. Over 50 people have volunteered to receive alerts from the 15th Night when there is a need that is hard to fill like special clothing, shoes, or gift cards for food.

Even students are stepping up for each other.  The Economic Justice League (EJL) for homeless and economically-challenged youth was created at South Eugene High School.  Along with 15th Night, we are working to execute the vision of keeping kids in school and supporting those struggling with housing.  One of South Eugene’s projects is opening a drop-in center for students to get help, support, and access to resources.  This includes food throughout the school day as well as free dinners-to-go, access to computers and technology, washer and dryer, free counseling, and much more. The goal is to have this room open before school, during lunch, and after school for any student that needs support. We hope to bring in therapists, artists, performers, hair stylists, barbers, and mentors of all kinds. We plan to have Fancy Dinner nights, Hair/Makeup/Makeover nights, Open Mic/Performance nights, arts and crafts, movie and game nights, and more.

15th Night Rapid Access Network Community Partners are working together to safeguard the 460+ Eugene-Springfield unhoused students who do not have a parent or guardian to support them, or a permanent place to call home. With thanks to their involvement, the 15th Night community movement can prevent Eugene-Springfield youth from going out on the street, and intervene quickly if they do.  This partnership includes many state / government resource and over 30 community nonprofits that all make a commitment to work together.

How Does AFFEC Fit Into the 15th Night Partnership?

A Family For Every Child provides three of their services to the youth serves by the 15th Night Network: Family Finding, Mentor and Host Home Programs. AFFEC has been providing both mentoring and family finding to the community for almost a decade and added the Host Home Porgram in 2018.

To learn more about...
Host homes and how to become one, click here

We are also looking for community members to join the movement and volunteer in a number of ways. If you are interested in volunteering in either capacity:

  • Select the appropriate boxes for either mentor, family finding volunteer, or host home.

 

Refer a Mentor

Know someone who would make a great mentor? Send them our way!

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Online Matching Events

Online Adoption Matching

Our Online Child Matching Events and Online Family Matching Events utilize user-friendly and accessible technology to better match children with their forever families. Social workers present children from their caseload to an audience of adoptive families via an online webinar program.

What Types of Programs Do We Use?

We use Microsoft Word PowerPoint to highlight the children, where we arrange the presentation in a very professional and useful way.

Does This Help with Adoption?

A Family For Every Child’s Online Child Matching Events are becoming increasingly popular, and are especially helpful for children in foster care that have a harder time finding a forever family.

How Does This Work?

Online Matching Events utilize easy, simple and accessible technology to portray foster children in a professional and aesthetically pleasing manner. We use several photos of the child to portray their everyday life, personality, and activities. The social worker presents a slideshow for every family that has an interest in the child.

Adoption Made Easy
Online Matching Events

Why these Events are Useful

Families are much more likely to become interested in a child after they’ve seen pictures and videos that represent the child’s personality, and after they’ve heard about the child’s behaviors directly from one of the people that know the child the best; their social worker. Families love these webinars, and feel that this is a great way to “hear about [the children’s] real personalities” and they appreciate being able to “hear directly from the social workers who know the children best” (Source from an August 22nd Online Child Matching Event attendee.)

Interested In Attending?

Online Matching Event Registration

Interested in Presenting?

(Clicking the link above; it will take you to an inquiry form that they fill out that will be e-mailed to AFFEC, alerting me that they are interested in presenting during an “Online Matching Event”. The MOU will also be on this page. The inquiry form will have first name, last name, agency, e-mail, how they heard about our matching events, what month they are interested in presenting, and if they’ve presented-tycfg-d in the past. Maybe what child they’d like to present as well but this one can be an option.)