Become a Mentor to Youth in Foster Care
Christian Family Care’s Mentoring Program is designed to provide youth in foster care with a mentor who will have a consistent presence in their life.
A mentor’s support and dedication to building a lasting relationship is encouraging to a youth or young adult in whatever season of life they are in. Continue reading to learn more about CFC’s mentoring program!
What is a mentor?
A mentor at Christian Family Care is …
a volunteer position. The mentor is a non-paid position that requires a minimum time commitment of four hours per month.
The mentor is encouraged to …
offer wisdom to their mentee from a gospel perspective.
The mentor needs to have a love for Jesus and deep care for children.
If their mentee is struggling through something, the mentor is encouraged to bring out their Bible and read through helpful verses together. They are also encouraged to pray with their mentee and offer words of encouragement as well as a listening ear.
Remember, this may be the very first exposure a foster child has to the Word of God.
The mentor needs to be …
a consistent figure in the mentee’s life. This is a person who can offer guidance, friendship, reinforcement and be a positive example for the mentee. The overall goal of the mentoring program is to provide healthy relationships for young people that may not otherwise experience consistent and long-term relationships.
What are the mentor’s responsibilities?
Maintain a personal relationship with Jesus Christ
This is important for mentors because you cannot fill another up from an empty cup!
Be prepared to share the Gospel if the opportunity presents itself. This is what makes CFC’s foster mentor program so unique.
We encourage our mentors to have loving discussions about their faith in Jesus Christ with their mentees. If your mentee is up for it, invite them to your church or Bible study! You could also start each meeting with your mentee by sharing a quick devotional or prayer if that’s something you feel led to do with your mentee.
Develop a strong relationship with their mentee
How does this look? By engaging with care and consistency and making yourself available to your mentee via phone, email or in person. If your mentee has a question or needs someone to talk to, you will need to be there for them. You’ll likely be exchanging contact information with them.
CFC’s foster mentor program requires the mentor to connect with their mentee for a minimum of 4 hours per month. The mentor is more than welcome to meet with their mentee for more hours than what is required.
It is important for mentors to remember that relationships and trust are built by demonstrating consistency over time!
A mentor coordinator will be assigned to every mentor/mentee relationship. It is important for the mentor to communicate with the mentor coordinator on how the mentoring relationship is going. The mentor should remain in consistent communication with the mentor coordinator for any questions that arise and through monthly reports.
How to become a mentor?
At Christian Family Care the process starts by …
A mentor will need to fill out our mentor application here and will be contacted by a mentor coordinator.
They will need to submit all of the minimum qualifications and complete an interview process.
From there, they will need to attend and complete a minimum of six hours of training per year. It can take up to three months for a mentor to get matched with a mentee.
This is a traditional mentoring program, in that one mentor will be matched with one youth and meetings should be face-to-face each month.
Our foster care mentor program is a four hour per month minimum commitment for the length of at least one year.
The mentor should build a relationship with their mentee, helping them to develop essential life skills, engage with them in social activities, maintain regular contact and more.
- Ability to obtain a level one fingerprint clearance card
- You need a clean driving record
- Auto insurance verification
- Have a background check
- Receive a negative TB test
- Experience working with children is a plus but not required
- Have a flexible schedule
- We will need you to submit three character references (one personal and two professional/academic)
- You must have reliable transportation for both you and the mentee
- You must be at least 18 years of age and at least five years older than the mentee
- Acknowledge our CFC policy
- Complete our volunteer waiver of liability
Do I need experience working with vulnerable youth?
Prior experience is a bonus, but not a requirement. We will provide the initial and on-going training based on “trauma-informed care” practices.
Other Desired Attributes
- Committed: Shares God’s passion for service through prayer, honor, integrity, accountability and stewardship.
- Attentive: Looks out for the needs of others by being thoughtful, genuine, caring, courteous and honest.
- Responsive: Provides effective results by owning each interaction, following through, making and keeping promises.
- Excellent: Continuously strives to exceed expectations by seeking, acquiring and sharing knowledge
What are the expectations of a mentor?
Christian Family Care’s Mentor Program is designed to give struggling youth or young adults a supportive person to turn to when they are dealing with their day-to-day challenges.
Mentors meet with their mentees one-on-one at least four hours per month. Mentors commit to a year-long mentorship.
Mentors are required to complete a monthly, 90-day and annual progress questionnaire submitted to their mentor coordinator.
These questionnaires help the mentor coordinator to support the mentor/mentee relationship based on the needs of that relationship. The mentor coordinator will be the go to person for the mentor for any help they need throughout the mentoring relationship.
Start here if you’re ready to be a mentor!
How does the matching process work?
There is a step-by-step process to becoming a mentor to a youth or a young adult in foster care.
Christian Family Care picks the match based on …
CFC will match mentors with a pre-teen, teen or young adult associated with CFC through our different programs.
We make sure the youth or young adult is matched to a mentor that will be the best fit for whatever season of life they are currently in based upon the life experience presented by the inquiring mentor.
We work hard to match the best mentor with a youth or young adult in our program.
The age requirement is …
The mentor must be 18 or older and at least five years older than their mentee.
How long will the matching process take?
Typically, it takes between one to three months for a mentor to be matched with a mentee. This happens once the mentor has completed all of the required documents and tasks.
What support does CFC offer throughout the mentor program?
Since 2017, our foster mentoring program has matched 83 mentor/mentees together!
Christian Family Care walks alongside the mentorship throughout the entire process to ensure a successful mentor/mentee match is made.
We provide on-going training and support
We provide on-going training and support for our mentors throughout the entire relationship. We make sure our mentors know exactly how to navigate being a helpful mentor to a young person in foster care.
Our mentors receive a personal mentor coordinator
The Mentor Coordinator provides monthly phone calls to every mentor and reaches out to answer any questions or concerns raised on the Monthly Reports submitted by mentors.
A monthly video bulletin is sent out to help mentors
This includes a training component to help prepare mentors on topics such as behavior management, trauma-informed care and how to teach Independent Living Skills.
What mentoring roles does CFC offer?
In the first 3-months of mentoring we encourage mentors and mentees to focus on building a solid relationship. After that relationship is established, we offer two types of mentoring roles to consider based on the specific needs of the mentee:
Attachment Orientated Mentoring is …
A relaxed relationship with a youth under 18-years old (usually in foster care). The goal is to be a consistent caring adult in the youth’s life.
Goal Orientated Mentoring is …
Requires a more structured relationship with a youth 18-years and older (usually aged out of foster care). The goal is to provide a consistent caring relationship while working on life skills and personal goals.
This could look like helping your mentee with job applications, reviewing their resume, helping them navigate finding a house or apartment to live in.
Growing up comes with a lot of responsibilities and knowing you have someone to help you through the baby steps towards being fully independent is extremely helpful for our young adults aging out of foster care. Even if it is just having someone to talk to, these mentoring relationships really matter, especially to our young adults.
The value of being a mentor to kids in foster care
Youth and young adults in the foster care system often times do not have someone in their life to turn to for advice or a sounding board.
Mentors can inspire these foster children to make good decisions and set out on a path for a better life.
We want all children to grow, learn and succeed. With the help of a mentor coming alongside them, they can guide these children in taking next steps towards adulthood while also having fun together doing activities and creating memories.
You could go to an Arizona Diamondbacks baseball game or go see a movie with them! Being a mentor is a great way to make an impact on a foster child’s life.
We aim for the mentee to achieve a close bond with an adult who also has a relationship with Jesus Christ. This is important because the mentor can show their mentee the love that Jesus has for them and even guide them to having their own personal relationship with Jesus.
This is a very meaningful and transformational mentoring program for not only the mentee but also for the mentor.
Find out more information
We really hope you consider our volunteer mentoring position. It truly is a meaningful use of your time to make a lasting impact on a youth or young adult in the foster care system.
Ready to become a mentor?
Are you ready to take the next step towards becoming a foster care mentor? Complete our online application here.