Referral and matching process

  • Referrals are received and allocated to one of our casework team.
  • A caseworker will contact the referrer to discuss why the child needs a mentor.
  • A caseworker carries out an introductory home visit to meet with the parent and child.
  • We arrange for the parent to come into our office to meet with their caseworker and talk in more detail about how their child could benefit from having a mentor.
  • The caseworker visits the family home and meets with the child to discuss who they would like as a mentor.
  • Based on the child’s needs and what they would like in a mentor, the casework team meets to see what mentor would be best suited for them.
  • Once a potential mentor is identified, the caseworker will talk to the parent and child and set up a matching meeting.
  • The caseworker and potential mentor will visit the family home to meet the parent, and introduce the mentor to the child.
  • If the parent and child want to go ahead, the caseworker and mentor will plan the first outing with the child and they will be a matched friendship.
  • From then on, the mentor will make arrangements with the parent about when and what time outings will take place.
  • The mentor will come to the family home to pick the child up to go on an outing for a few hours, and return them home at the end of the outing.
  • After each outing for the first six months, the mentor will have a phone supervision with their caseworker, to check that everything is going well (after six months, once the friendship is established, supervision might take place once a month instead of every week).
  • Face to face reviews are carried out by the caseworker separately with the parent, child and volunteer after three months, six months, one year, two years and every year after that for the remainder of the friendship.
  • After two years, the mentor and mentee have a chance to decide whether they would like to graduate from the programme and bring the friendship to a close (this may be particularly relevant for a child who has increased in confidence and developed new interests, meaning they have less time at weekends) or whether they would like to continue with the friendship.
  • If they decide to continue, they carry on as normal with outings and regular supervision.