Information for
Parents

All of our staff are motivated to help every young person they work with overcome adversity, succeed in education or employment, and reach their potential. The mentoring sessions in school are a way for our youth workers to build a professional and trusting relationship with a young person. This way they can chart and track the behaviour and achievements of our mentees, so that overtime they can gradually help to resolve some, or any, of the problems they may be suffering from either in or outside of school. When these formal mentoring sessions are combined with our youth hub and summer programme, we are able to offer more rounded support which is easily accessible for any young person who feels they may need someone to talk to.

Safeguarding

Before meeting the young person, a referral form will need to be completed by a member of staff at the school to provide the necessary background information about the student. This would contain information relating to their educational progress, any special needs or disabilities, the potential involvement of other external agencies, as well as other relevant contextual information that we could get from speaking to the SEN teacher at the school. On the basis of these checks we will determine how we approach the student and the context in which we work with them.   

All of our staff have been DBS checked and have completed qualifications in youth work and a number of different areas, including in: sexual health, trauma, mental health, first aid.

About the mentees

All of the mentees that we deal with have been referred to us because they need support to stay in education or employment. These young people all come from different circumstances and may need our help for a variety of reasons, with some having already suffered significant trauma in their lives. Many of the young people may be in the school’s isolation unit because of their behaviour, and thus our overarching aim is to help these children reintegrate into mainstream schooling. However, a mentor can adopt a number of different roles depending on what the mentee needs help with. This could be anything from sitting alongside the mentee in lessons to support them in a subject they struggle with, to looking up apprenticeship schemes or having a private one-to-one chat about something they feel anxious about.

It is therefore crucial that the mentee feels like their mentor is someone they can trust, and that the relationship therefore remains completely confidential – unless the mentor feels that the young person is in danger.

Why a mentor is needed

A mentor can have a significant influence in guiding young people already involved in criminal activities, or who at risk of such, onto the right path. By listening to their concerns and ambitions, a mentor can provide relevant advice to build up a mentee’s confidence and help them find apprenticeships, a job, or move back into education. Not all children learn or develop in the same way, and mentoring provides a tailored approach to help each young person with their individual needs and goals. By helping to reintegrate these young people into mainstream education, training or employment, mentoring stands as an effective strategy to keep young people in education or employment, off the streets and, in turn, out of prison.

Expectations

In order to keep track of these meetings, a contact sheet must be completed after each mentoring session. These will provide updates about how the mentee is, any problems or interests they have, and will set achievable targets that will be re-evaluated and re-assessed at every session. In so doing we hope that this will help us to eventually pinpoint specific problems so that we can offer them relevant support and resolve them where possible. To carry out these meetings we will work alongside a member of staff at the school, who will provide additional information to keep us informed on each child’s wellbeing and their growth or regression.

Additionally, a Personal Development Plan (PDP) must be completed during sessions at the start, as well as three, six, nine and twelve months into the relationship. The PDP must be signed by both the mentor and the mentee. At the end of the mentoring relationship, a final mentee assessment must be completed.

Other sources of help

If you feel like your child would benefit from support from other external agencies there are a few that we recommend getting in contact with. These include:  

  • Off The Record Youth Counselling: This is a charity providing counselling to young people who live, study, work, or have a GP in the borough of Croydon. The charity has an online counselling service for young people aged 11-25. They are located at 72 Queens Road, Croydon CR0 2PR and contactable on 020 8251 0251 .

  • Croydon Drop In (CDI): This is another accessible, confidential, independent, safe and flexible resources for young people seeking free support and counselling. They are located at 132 Church Street, Croydon CR0 1RF and contactable on 020 8680 0404 .

  • Rape Crisis South London: This organisation provides specialist face-to-face counselling for women and girls aged 13 and above and play therapy for girls aged 4+, who have been raped or sexually abused at any time in their lives and who live in any of the South London boroughs. They are contactable via the following helpline: 0808 802 9999

 

Mentoring Fact Sheet

Information sheet for parents