Congratulations! You have made an important decision to open new doors for your child that will help him or her grow into a confident and successful young person.
All children need the support of caring adults in order to be successful, not only within their family but at school and in their communities. Having a variety of people positively involved in a child’s life provides them with new opportunities and experiences that will help them grow and gain self-confidence.
Guidelines for Finding a Mentor
It is important that you find a mentoring program that you have confidence in and that is a good fit for your child. Consider what type of program will best suit your child’s needs. Then make a list of any questions or concerns you may have. Below is a list of common questions to get you started. Before you enroll your child in a program, be sure that all of your questions and concerns have been addressed.
Questions About the Program:
- What is the goal of the program – do mentors help with homework, are they friends, do they help explore career possibilities, etc.?
- What makes a child eligible to take part in the program?
- How long will it take before my child is matched with a mentor?
- How do you decide which mentor you pair with my child?
- What are my child’s responsibilities in the mentoring relationship? As a parent or guardian, what are my responsibilities?
- What types of activities will the mentor and my child do together?
- Who should I contact if my child or I have a question or concern about the mentoring relationship?
- Can I visit your program and see the mentors and children together?
Questions About the Mentors:
- Where does the mentor meet with my child?
- How often will the mentor and my child meet?
- How are the mentors screened for this program?
- Do you check mentors’ backgrounds to make sure they don’t pose a threat to my child?
- How will my child be matched with a mentor?
- Will I meet my child’s mentor?
Finding a Mentoring Program
Start by searching our list of programs by entering your zipcode. Since not every mentoring program in the state is in our database, consider these other resources in your community.
- Contact your child’s school and speak with the guidance counselor, principal or your child’s teacher to inquire about a program. Ask if the school has a mentoring program and if they can refer you to a program in the community.
- Contact any youth-serving agencies in your community such as the YMCA or Boys & Girls Club. Ask if they have a program and also ask if they can recommend other organizations to contact.
- Many faith communities offer mentoring or youth programs.
- Ask your friends, relatives and co-workers for recommendations.
(Courtesy of Virginia Mentoring Partnership)