WHAT IS THE MENTOR PROGRAM?
A Family For Every Child’s Mentor Program is a one-on-one mentoring program where mentors and youth are matched based on their mutual interests, strengths, and location. People are diverse and so are our mentor matches - no two look the same! You can hike, camp, play sports, cook together, read together - the possibilities are endless!
Mentoring, at its core, guarantees our young boys that there is someone who cares about them, assures them they are not alone in dealing with day-to-day challenges, and makes them feel like they matter.
It is our goal to recruit 30 Men to be mentors to the 30 boys we currently have waiting!
Why 30 MEN-tors in 30 Days?
Our boys often wait much longer than our girls for their very own mentor. Every successful man had a great role model. For this National Mentor Month, we are calling on the strong, independent, and positive men in our community to step up for our boys.
YOU DON’T HAVE TO DO IT ALONE
You can include your significant other in mentoring too! Mentoring doesn’t have to take time away from those you care for the most -- include your mentee in your everyday life and you’ll find that all of your lives will be enriched! There’s no reason not to sign up!
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF MENTORING?
As a mentor, you will have the knowledge that you are doing a great thing for someone else, and you’ll have fun while you do it! You’ll get to share your hobbies and interests with someone who really wants to learn. You’ll find your life has been added to in the most positive of ways!
There are many benefits to mentoring. For the mentee, he can learn skills, have a man in his life to talk to (as many of them don’t) and have someone in his life who truly cares about his outcome. This is crucial in any boy’s life. Boys who have mentors have higher self confidence, participate in extracurriculars at a higher rate, and are less likely to fall into drugs and alcohol.
What is the Sports and Outdoor Mentor Program?
Designed for the boys in our traditional mentor program, the Sports and Outdoor Mentor Program provides mentoring for boys considered at-risk and may otherwise have to wait months to be matched with a mentor because of the high need for more male volunteers. In addition, the program provides unique opportunities for at-risk children to experience participatory and spectator sports as well as the abundance of outdoor activities Lane County has to offer.
How Does the Sports and Outdoor Mentor Program Work?
You will be matched with one youth or a sibling pair whom you will mentor for the duration of your commitment. At least once per week for 2-3 hours, you will meet with your youth to engage in an outdoor and/or sports activity (we’ll match you with a youth who likes the same activities you do!). You will be responsible for scheduling a time to meet with your youth and will keep A Family For Every Child up to date with your progress with monthly activity reports. There is a 6 month commitment, however, it can be extended!
What are the requirements?
The requirements are similar to our Mentor Program and just as easy! If you fit the following criteria you can be a Sports and Outdoor Mentor to a youth in our program:
- Male, 19 years of age and older
- Willing to meet with buddy 2-3 hours per week for sports/outdoor mentoring
- Able to commit to 6 months of mentoring
- Able to pass a background check
- Able to provide three character references
- Able to mentor a youth in the Eugene or Springfield area
We’re here to guide and support you through this process — it’s easier than you think!
How is this program different from the Mentor Program?
This program is for male youth in our program who are not yet matched with a mentor. While some of the basics are the same, there are some key differences:
- This program’s main focus is on sports and outdoor activities
- The time commitment is 6 months, as opposed to 18 months
- Youth are NOT allowed to visit their mentor’s home
- The minimum age for mentors is 19-years-old
- We are only accepting male mentors at this time
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.