Community Connections: New year, new training, new mentors | SteamboatToday.com

Community Connections: New year, new training, new mentors

Becky Slamal For Steamboat Today

Three, two, one … lift-off! Partners in Routt County has launched into 2018 with the celebration of National Mentoring Month and the final workings of a three-year strategic plan that was built over the last year through an extensive process.

One of the first goals in this plan is to offer a series of trainings for other youth serving professionals who finds themselves, or their staff, in the role of a "mentor" for young people. This could be teachers, coaches, camp counselors, youth group leaders, or any other position that requires connecting with and positively influencing a school-aged child/youth.

Mentoring happens in a variety of forms, all of which can be beneficial for youth. With tremendous growth in the field of youth mentoring, the sheer number and variety of programs and approaches make it difficult for prospective mentors, parents, mentees and funders to know what constitutes a safe and effective mentoring program.

For this reason, MENTOR, the National Mentoring Partnership, published “The Elements of Effective Practice for Mentoring,” which details research-informed and practitioner-approved standards for creating and sustaining quality youth mentoring programs and, consequently, impactful mentoring relationships.

There are six standards that can be applied to almost any kind of youth mentoring, and we will be talking about each one of them through a series of trainings that will begin in February. The six standards are Recruiting, Screening, Training, Matching & Initiating, Monitoring & Support, and Closure.

Do you have questions about how to recruit appropriate adults and youth that best match the goals and structure of your program? Are you wondering if there is more you could do to screen and train your coaches, camp counselors, or other staff to help ensure the safety of youth? Whether you develop a relationship with a child over a couple of months, or have been in their life for many years, it is always important to have healthy closure if/when your time with them ends.

Recommended Stories For You

Partners in Routt County was founded on the principles laid out in “The Elements of Effective Practice for Mentoring” and has adhered to its standards for nearly 22 years. We have experience and resources that we can share to help increase the quality of positive developmental relationships between adults and youth in our community, and we hope others who are working with youth in various capacities will consider joining us.

The first session will be held Monday, Feb. 12 from noon to 1 p.m. at the Partners office in Sundance Plaza. It will be an introduction to the Elements of Effective Practice and an overview of the training series.

If you'd like more information, or plan to attend, please let us know and we will add you to our contact list.

And, in honor or National Mentoring Month, we are working hard to recruit 30 mentors in 30 days, in hopes of matching every youth on our waiting list. You, or someone you know, could be one of them. Give us a call today at 970-879-6141, become a mentor and change two lives.

Becky Slamal is community outreach manager for Partners in Routt County (partnersrouttcounty.org).