FAQ ABOUT YOUTH MENTORING RELATIONSHIPS IN ISRAEL AT KAV L’NOAR (KLN)
- What Will Mentoring Accomplish for My Child?
KLN mentoring is custom designed to meet the needs of each individual child. In general, families can expect that children being mentored will feel supported and their voices heard. Having the complete attention of a mentor helps them develop self-esteem. Getting feedback from the mentor helps them develop self awareness, learn to express themselves effectively, learn how they come across to others and learn to be aware of other’s wishes and needs.
- How Do I Know the Program Is Safe?
KLN does everything we can to ensure your child’s safety. Issues of safety are central to our acceptance of any mentor.KLN does an official police background check on mentors. In addition, mentors are trained about appropriate behavior in relation to their mentees and regular professional supervision addresses this issue throughout their relationship.
- What Is My Role in the Mentoring Relationship? With my child? With the mentor? With the KLN staff?
In order for the mentoring relationship to work optimally, it should be between the mentor and the mentee. Children need to feel that the relationship is private if they are going to develop trust and be able to express their feelings to the mentor. Parents should be aware of scheduling, but otherwise express their concerns to the mentoring supervisor.
- What if I don’t like the mentor or my child does not like the mentor?
KLN takes tries to take sufficient time in the beginning to find the right mentor so that this does not occur. We are aware that there needs to be “chemistry” with the child, and the family needs to feel that the relationship is a good one. That being said, occasionally there may be a mis-match. That should be worked out with the mentoring supervisor. We welcome feedback and want to work with families to make this a growth experience for the child.
- What if the mentor wants to do an activity I disagree with? Or has values that I do not share?
All mentoring relationships begin with a mentor match meeting. One of the main purposes of this meeting is for you to share your family’s rules and values so that the mentor will know the appropriate guidelines to be followed. If a problem occurs despite this, please share that information immediately with the mentoring supervisor. KLN will work with the mentor to be respectful of the family’s values.
- What about gifts and money? Should my child accept gifts from his mentor? Who pays for outings?
KLN provides a monthly allowance for the mentoring activities. That is part of your fee. It is a good learning experience for the child and the mentor to budget together how to spend their allowance. In general, gifts should not be part of the relationship.
- How do you decide which mentor you pair with my child?
When a family applies for a mentor, they go through several initial interviews. First they meet with a staff family therapist, and then both the parents and the child meet with the mentoring supervisor. We may also contact other important people in the child’s world such as the school or previous therapists. Having done all this, we have a fairly clear idea of what kind of mentor would be a good match – and only at that point do we look for the mentor.
- What are my child’s responsibilities in the mentoring relationship?
Initially, the child’s only responsibility is to attend scheduled sessions and let the mentor know of any changes in his schedule. As in any serious relationship, the child has the responsibility to be honest with the mentor.
- As a parent or guardian, what are my responsibilities?
The parents’ responsibilities are to support their child’s participation in the relationship, to notify the mentor of any changes in schedule, and to pay for the sessions in a timely fashion.
- What types of activities will the mentor and my child do together?
The activities will depend on the interests of the child. They are a means to engaging the child in a relationship, so they will be different in each situation. Some children may like sports or music and others may like baking, scrapbooking, or other arts projects.
- Where does the mentor meet with my child?
The setting for the meetings must be private but not secluded. This is important in order for the child to feel that this is his or her exclusive relationship. They could go for pizza or other snacks, engage in a volunteer, sports or art activity, a walk in the park or other similar activities.
- How often will the mentor and my child meet?
Meetings will be twice a week for an hour each time or they may meet once a week for 2 hours depending on the needs of the child and scheduling issues of both the mentor and the mentee.
- How are mentors screened for this program?
KLN mentors go through a comprehensive screening process which includes a detailed and thorough interview as well as a written application process and a reference check. Any mentor that is then actually accepted as a KLN mentor needs to bring an authorized background check from the police.
- What information will you share with me about my child’s mentor?
We will share general information about the mentor’s qualifications and why we think this person will make a good mentor for your child.
- How will my child be matched with a mentor?
We get to know you and your child through our initial assessment process. First a staff therapist will meet with your and your child and then the mentoring director will meet with all of you. This gives us a good idea of the kind of mentor your child will relate well to and who will be able to help your child. We take into account personal interests, special skills, religious preferences, and emotional needs.
- Will I meet my child’s mentor?
When we have completed the initial interviews and feel we have the appropriate mentor, we will schedule a meeting with everyone – the child, the mentor and the parents. At this meeting you will have the opportunity to meet and speak with the mentor, and your child will also have a brief time alone with the mentor to start getting acquainted and schedule their next meeting.