Mentoring a child in foster care is a meaningful way to give back to the community. Our frequently asked questions help potential mentors understand what’s expected of them and how they can get started.
You’ll be asked to complete an application, including a background check, interview with a Mentor Program caseworker, answer a questionnaire about your hobbies and interests, and undergo training.
Matches are made primarily based on common interests and the best fit for the child. Geographic location and your skillset are also taken into consideration.
Our mentoring program is dedicated to mentoring children in foster care in Washoe County and targets children ages 14-18. However, youth between the ages of 8-13 will be considered if it’s determined they’d benefit from a mentor relationship.
Our goal is to make a meaningful, lasting connection for each child in foster care, so we ask that you commit to no less than three hours per month spent in person with your mentee, while at least having weekly contact. More time is always encouraged!
We ask for a minimum of a year-long commitment from our mentors and children, yet we understand some relationships may end sooner. Many relationships last well beyond that! We’re looking for our children to have a connection they can maintain after they exit the foster care system.
A caseworker will conduct a home visit to ensure your residence is safe, based on the unique needs of the child. The decision for a child to come to your home will ultimately be determined by the youth’s assigned caseworker.
You can do almost anything that you both enjoy! Some examples are sharing a meal, going to a sports event, studying or reviewing schoolwork, hiking, skateboarding, music lessons, just hanging out, etc. We’ll provide you with a list of activities as ideas.
Most likely! It’ll be dependent on the unique needs and circumstances of the child and your family. The child’s assigned caseworker will make this determination.
Any costs incurred are the responsibility of the mentor. At times, we have funding to help supplement some activities, but this isn’t guaranteed since funds are received from donations.
Having transportation is helpful but not required. If you wish to transport a child, a copy of your driver’s license, proof of insurance, and a DMV printout must be submitted.
Yes, training is required to be cleared as a mentor since we’re working with vulnerable children. Part of this training will include information about foster care, the court process, trauma, and what a child experiences in foster care.
Youth in foster care often have large teams supporting them, but most are professionals who frequently change. Mentors offer guidance, consistency and support, sometimes being the only reliable relationship and resemblance of a family for a child in foster care. Depending on the circumstances, you may be invited to attend child and family team meetings to support your mentee.
We have experienced staff available to help you navigate your role as a mentor and offer support, including connecting you with resources or additional training when it may be beneficial.