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January is National Mentoring Month! Traditionally, we think of mentoring in the context of an adult mentoring a child. However, mentoring can play many different roles when it comes to strengthening families. Social service providers can mentor the families they serve. Additionally, they can engage families as partners in mentoring other families to strengthen social networks and build a stronger community.
 
Peer mentoring can be particularly beneficial for families navigating challenging circumstances such as families with an incarcerated loved one, a child with disabilities, or adjusting as part of a refugee resettlement program. Mentors who have been through similar circumstances can provide emotional support as well as practical guidance based on their own experiences. Additionally, peer mentoring can help parents learn healthy relationship and interpersonal skills while simultaneously encouraging them to inspire the development of those same skills in their children.
 
I hope the tips and resources below will inspire you to consider how you may serve as a mentor or engage mentors in your efforts to strengthen families.
 

Tip of the Month:

Below are some great tips on mentoring!

  • If your organization is considering incorporating a youth mentoring program, it's important to effectively engage parents and other caregivers. Given the amount of influence and control that parents have over their kids, their involvement can be critical in fostering a stronger and more beneficial mentoring experience for their children.
  • Allow your mentees to have voice and choice in deciding on activities. Ask your mentee(s) what they would like to do during your time together. This ensures that they will be interested and engaged in the activity.
  • Let the mentee control the direction of conversations. Don't push the mentee to tell you everything at once; allow him or her time to get to know you. Be sensitive and respectful and above all keep everything the mentee says to you confidential.
  • Listen. When you ask questions and listen, you give mentees permission to share their stories and personal experiences without criticism.

If you're interested in becoming a mentor or incorporating mentoring into your existing programming, you can find more information and resources here! Here are some additional resources for mentoring mothers and fathers specifically.

Calendar

The Events Calendar offers a listing of national, regional and community-wide events that might be of interest to our targeted safety-net stakeholders. This includes conferences, webinars, policy forums, etc. You may submit events for consideration and inclusion on the Events Calendar.

Submitted events will be reviewed, and once approved, the event and its details will be posted on the calendar. Supporting documents, registration information, and flyers can also be posted and downloaded with each event.

Submit an event.

 

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