Our system of matching young people and mentors is tailored to the individual needs of each child. The children we support rarely ask for anything more specific than ‘someone nice and kind’, so our caseworkers base their recommendations on an assessment of the child’s personality, needs, and what sort of mentor they would most benefit from.
Your preferences will also be discussed and taken into account, and we will look at any shared interests as well, although a mentor is expected to introduce a young person to new things and help them develop new interests.
The matching process:
- Once you have been accepted as a mentor and we have your approved CRB and references, your caseworker will work with you to identify a young person to match you with. This might involve discussing several different options.
- Your caseworker will set up a meeting for you to go with them to meet the child and parent. After the meeting, if everyone is happy with how it went, you will officially be a matched friendship.
- From that point you will go and pick the young person up from their home at an agreed time on a regular basis, go out for a few hours, and then return them home.
- After every outing you will have a telephone supervision with your caseworker, who is on hand to offer guidance and support and check that things are going ok.
- At 6 and 12 months you’ll have a face to face review with your caseworker, and you’ll also have a review after 2 years, at which point you’ll be able to decide whether you would like to complete your volunteering commitment, or whether you would like to continue with the friendship.
Once you have been matched, you will be given access to the Volunteer Area on our website, where you can get and post great ideas for outings, share stories and experiences with other Friendship Works mentors, and access support and training materials to help you further develop your mentoring skills.