“Youth Futures” developed a platform in which its Mentors are the primary means of intervention—becoming the key factor in facilitating the success of the children and their families. The Mentors are recruited from the respective communities in which they will serve – ensuring that they have the necessary cultural sensitivities and awareness needed to successfully initiate and manage the holistic process of change.
The Mentors are specially-trained and work full-time positions. They each develop close relationships with the 16 children and their families under their care—representing a significant adult, leader, and role model in the lives of the children and their families during their three years in the program. They initiate change by building trusting relationships of listening; maintaining a consistent presence in their lives; and offering assistance and support. The Mentor enables the children and their families to learn, acquire life skills, receive assistance, and utilize the relevant social services that will enable them to achieve the desired changes in their lives.
The Mentors achieve these goals by convening all of the professionals and key stake-holders in the life of each child and developing a care plan that consolidates and then integrates all of the services needed by the children and their parents. In this way, the Mentors advance a process of coordination and the assignment of tasks between the various individuals involved with every child – enabling the implementation of each child’s specifically tailored personal program. The Mentors ensure that the appropriate resources—whether already available in the community or those that need to be developed—are available to assist the child and their family. Mentors assist the parents in receiving services such as parental guidance, financial management, and understanding their rights and entitlements.
Every child is accompanied by a Mentor at school—within the formal education framework – as well as in the afternoon hours in the community, and at home with their family. The initial personal sessions with the Mentor are dedicated to acquainting the children and Mentors with each other and establishing a level of trust between them.
The result of this process is the formulation of a personalized plan that defines the goals to be achieved. Over the course of the years with their Mentors, the children and families are assessed according to the personal plan. The program operates for the entire academic year, including during school breaks and the summer months. On average, approximately 300 Mentors work with approximately 12,000 direct beneficiaries (the children and their parents) annually.