Youth between the ages of 13 and 18 are referred to Mentoring Plus through the local juvenile justice office, school, community organization or agency. Acceptance into Mentoring Plus is based upon specific criteria addressed through a needs assessment and those most in need of services. Each teen is in the program for a minimum of twelve months.
Youth and their families are provided with intensive case management services. Case Managers work closely with each teen and their family members to develop a Coordinated Care Plan (CCP), which comprehensively outlines all needs, goals, youth and family strengths and specific service needs, with the goal of reducing risk factors and increasing protective factors.
Although the CCP is driven primarily by the needs of the teen, we also endeavor to address critical family needs and issues such as food, housing and employment. This is directly tied to our belief that family stability and support of youth goals are critical factors to a child’s willingness to change and be successful.
We match the teen with a volunteer mentor (Life Coach). They meet weekly on one of four available program nights, along with other matches. Together, teens and mentors participate in structured activities under the guidance of program staff. The program typically begins with the entire group sharing a meal, followed by individual break-out sessions between teens and their mentors. During this time, each teen and mentor focus on issues such as substance abuse, education, job and career preparation and life skills.
The second weekly contact with mentors is by phone, email or text. Program staff work continuously with the youth and family throughout the week on meeting needs and achieving goals. This assures full support and participation at home, as well as establishing consistency.