Fostering Hope Mentoring Program
The Fostering Hope Mentoring Program has been developed in partnership with Devonport Chaplaincy (Community Mentoring Tasmania) and COACH (Creating Opportunities and Casting Hope) Network. The purpose of the program is to provide kids in Out of Home Care (OOHC) with an adult who knows and cares for them outside of their foster family.
The program begins with expression of interest of the potential mentee/carer and the potential mentor. The screening process for mentors is outlined in the Mentor Screening Policy. The Screening Process involves 8 elements:
Current Working with Vulnerable People Registration
Recent National Police Check
Two referee checks
Fostering Hope Mentor Training (including training on trauma awareness)
More detail on each of these is available upon request. The program is focused on mentees aged 7-12, however children/youth outside those ages won’t be turned away based on age. This target age group is primarily due to the potential impact of mentoring on this age group, much older and the impact of mentoring on at-risk youth in significantly less.
All mentors are also required to agree to our Mentor Safe Conduct Policy, the Fostering Hope Code of Conduct and our vision, values and mission.
Once Mentors have completed the screening process, they are matched with a mentee by the Fostering Hope team. Before mentoring begins, carers are asked to complete a wellbeing assessment with their child, this gives Fostering Hope a baseline against which we can measure the impact of mentoring. The carer will complete the consent form (which includes a medical section).
A Fostering Hope team member, the Mentor, Mentee and Carer all meet together to talk about the Mentoring Agreement. This outlines acceptable places to go, times etc and what to do when any party has concerns.
This meeting gives the mentor and mentee the opportunity to meet and see if there is a good fit. The mentor and child are both given the option to say no if they don't feel comfortable with the arrangements.
After each session the mentor completes our 60-second online contact form checking in about how the session went. These responses come to the Fostering Hope team, they provide a record of the session and a good basis for supervision conversations.
A Fostering Hope team member provides support and supervision as needed, usually lessening as the mentor grows in confidence and the mentoring relationship is more firmly established. Someone from the Fostering Hope team meets regularly with each mentor and every six months we have Mentor Gatherings in the North and South of the state to upskill and support mentors.