Thriving Service #4: Youth Mentors Research tells us how important it is for all children to have a trusted mentor, because having an adult outside of the home who believes in a child is the single most protective factor against risk.
DESIGNING A COUNTYWIDE FAMILY-FRIENDLY YOUTH MENTOR SYSTEM
The past: How did we get to this point of needing a family-friendly youth mentor system? Who exactly needs it anyway? What problems is the system of mentoring supposed to solve? Why don’t people just mentor their own kids themselves without outside help?
The present (action agenda): Within this subject, we’ve identified ten strategies – called innovation areas – that can be used to tackle the youth mentor access problem. Within those we suggest about 20 100% Community projects that you (yes, you) can take on, thus propelling your community towards family-friendly youth mentorship in its many forms.
The future (goals): With enough work on these innovations/projects, we’ll get to the point where innovation ten – the creation of a City/County Dept. of Family-Friendly Youth Mentorship – becomes a reality. With a state-of-the-art system of care in place, 100% of our county’s families report excellent support and service.
Since we are currently in the present creating the future, your commitment to innovation is most eagerly sought and needed.
Addressing a Challenge
When we “Google it”, how many results come up?
Benefits of mentoring youth: 21,400,000
How Big Brothers Big Sisters mentoring can delay substance misuse: 79,700,000
How to start a mentoring program: 77,900,000
How to recruit youth mentors: 24,500,000
Digital mentors: 52,100,000
We do not need research to tell us that every child benefits from a caring mentor. But if you want it, we can recommend many, many articles to read about the power of mentorship. With so much written about the benefits of mentorship, why do so many boys and girls who would benefit from a mentor not have access to one? And why is it especially difficult to get men to volunteer their time to mentor a boy?
A caring, compassionate, and communicative mentor and youth can form a trusting and stable non-parent relationship. This a critical component of all kid’s lives, but one that is all-too-often missing. We know it can transform lives for the better, and we have the data to prove it.
Teen Eric’s life can go two ways, toward chaos and despair or stability and success. A caring mentor for kids like Eric can be a lifesaver – literally.
Innovations focus on strengthening mentorship program and mentor recruitment and training and outreach to families. Once you know the shape and size of the local challenges, you can begin to plan the innovation. Tech can promote mentor recruitment campaigns and enhance mentor training.
Learn More in The 100% COMMUNITY COURSE
A 100% Community is one where all our families and county residents get the support they need to be trauma-free and thrive. In our 100% Community Course local leaders are learning how to address gaps in ten vital family services. Course graduates work in action teams through the 100% Community initiative to design, implement and evaluate innovations shown to increase the quality and quantity of services.
Participants in the 100% Community course choose which of the 10 family services areas – 5 “Survival Services” and 5 “Thriving Services” they wish to focus on.
100% COMMUNITY COURSE IS ACTION-FOCUSED
The course is designed to support county stakeholders in developing projects in ten inter-connected service sectors.
Participants in the 100% Community course focus on the one family service area they are most passionate about (one of 10 family service areas – 5 “Survival Services” and 5 “Thriving Services”).
When you enroll in the 100% Community course, you will be working to improve one sector as part of an action team. Each innovation area has short and long-term projects to develop, all with the support of the course instructors. All projects focus on supporting local communities and agencies in strengthening services to meet the needs of residents.
READ 100% COMMUNITY
The course textbook 100% Community by Katherine Ortega Courtney, PhD and Dominic Cappello guide the development of the 10 innovations listed here. It acts as a blueprint for implementing evidence-informed innovations at a county level across a state.
IT STARTS WITH YOU
Get connected today. Sign up to join our community, share your successes, find partnerships to solve challenges, and be part of the 100% Community movement to ensure trauma-free and thriving childhoods.