CommUNITY Mentoring (Queen Anne's County FY20 and Beyond) Annual

Program Summary

CommUNITY Mentoring is aimed to improve the outcomes for at-risk youth and disconnected youth through pairing youth with a caring adult role model, creating opportunities of learning life skills, and providing out of school recreational opportunities. CommUNITY Mentoring will utilize interventions, approaches and development techniques from the “Elements of Effective Practice for Mentoring,” which is an evidence-based model.[1]  CommUNITY Mentoring will also be provided with technical assistance from Maryland Mentor and Maryland Nonprofits.

CommUNITY Mentoring is a community-based mentoring program that requires recruitment of mentors and a strong leader to further develop the program to include not only disconnected youth, but the new priority of prevention for at-risk youth. The Coordinator will complete an online certificate program in Nonprofit Management to become a strong leader in nonprofit management and volunteer recruitment. The Mentor Coordinator will recruit mentors with diverse backgrounds and ages to ensure there are adults with whom the mentees can relate. This will be an on-going effort of the Coordinator. The mentors will be trained via an online mentoring tool, “Mentoring Central,”[1] which is training based on research-informed services to improve outcomes. New mentors will also be required to have an in-person orientation with the Coordinator. The mentors are required to commit to at least one year and to attend four in-person quarterly trainings. The quarterly training topics will be based on serving at-risk and disconnected youth; the meetings will also provide opportunities for the mentors to network and develop solutions common challenges and barriers of success. An example of a training that will be presented is “Trauma-Informed Mentoring” which is provided from Mentor: The National Mentoring Partnership.

Mentors will provide one-to-one mentoring in the community weekly for the at-risk youth. Mentoring will continue serving the disconnected youth in a group mentor model, where at least one mentor has contact with the youth weekly and meets with them bi-monthly in the community. The group mentor model, consisting of at least three mentors, has shown to be effective with the disconnected youth who require a more intensive case management approach. The parents of the at-risk youth will be provided with opportunities of involvement and be an integral part to the success of the youth. The Mentor Coordinator, parent (for the at-risk youth), mentor and mentee will create short-term and long-term goals. Goals for the at-risk youth can include: improvement of attendance rates for school, improvement in grades, employment/career goals, enrollment in college, less disciplinary actions with Department of Juvenile Services and/or school, learning coping strategies, etc. Goals for the disconnected youth can be attaining employment, enrolling in school or finishing school, and becoming more self-sufficient. 

The program will have monthly mentee/mentor events to help establish meaningful relationships in addition to the mentee/mentor(s) individual meetings. The monthly events will have an aspect of learning to include “life skills.” Some life skill lessons will be signing up for a bank account, paying bills, interviewing techniques, and learning about different careers. Supplementing the mentoring program activities with these structured youth development skills ensures youth participation even if their mentor(s) is not available, and it can lead to support from other mentors. In addition to the learning lessons, the monthly events may incorporate fun recreational events such as bowling, gaming, going to the movies, playing sports or dining out. 

At-risk and disconnected youth have experienced challenging life situations that often require professional help. The mentees and their mentor will be required to attend at least one Local Care Team meeting per year and more, if needed, to ensure all of their developmental needs are being met. This will provide the mentors with guidance on how to support the youth with difficult situations; and provide case management services sometimes needed with these populations. At the Local Care Team meetings, a Family Navigator is provided who can help navigate the systems to ensure the youth are receiving all available services. This Navigator will work with the mentor to ensure all recommendations from the Local Care Team meeting are followed.


[1] Mentoring Central. Web-based mentor training. Retrieved from: http://mentoringcentral.net/


[1] See footnote 10.

Target Population

The Board identified CommUNITY Mentoring as an appropriate model whose aim is to serve disconnected youth (ages 16-24 not working and not in school) and at-risk youth (youth in grades 8-12). Youth with higher risks have problems that continue to worsen as they get older, major problems can include dropping out of school, teen parenthood, mental health issues and involvement in crimes. [1]

The target amount to be served by CommUNITY Mentoring is fifteen youth (at-risk and disconnected). The first quarter of Fiscal Year 2020 will be focused on development, marketing and recruitment of mentors and mentees. The at-risk target population will start being served in September at the start of the new school year.  The disconnected population will be served throughout the fiscal year.

The CommUNITY Mentoring Coordinator will provide presentations and on-going contact with middle and high school guidance counselors for referrals of at-risk youth. Additional outreach efforts will include partnering organizations, churches, Department of Juvenile Services, Department of Social Services, QAC Collective partners and others. When the Mentor Coordinator has a mentor ready to be matched with a youth, they will contact guidance counselors and other partners to establish an appropriate match. CommUNITY Mentoring will follow the researcher and practitioner-informed practices for recruitment of mentors and mentees from the “Elements of Effective Practice for Mentoring.” Some evidence-based methods include print materials that provide information about mentoring and expectations, in both English and Spanish that can be distributed to mentees and their parents. Also, mentees will be encouraged to recruit their peers to participate in the mentoring program as a mentee. [1]  The Mentor Coordinator will leverage social media and use the Queen Anne’s County Community Affairs department to distribute information to over 1,000 social media users in the county on a monthly basis. Additionally, the Coordinator will attend county community events for recruitment and distribute materials to at least ten different partner organizations per half fiscal year.

 

 

[1] Garringer, M. et al. (2015). 4th Edition, Elements of Effective Practice for Mentoring: Research-informed and practitioner-approved best practices for creating and sustaining impactful mentoring relationships and strong program services. The National Mentoring  Partnership. Retrieved from: https://www.mentoring.org/new-site/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/Final_Elements_Publication_Fourth.pdf.

 

[1] Herrera, Carla, David L. DuBois and Jean Baldwin Grossman (2013). The Role of Risk: Mentoring Experiences and Outcomes for Youth with Varying Risk Profiles. A Public/Private Ventures project distributed by MDRC: New York, NY. Retrieved from: https://www.mdrc.org/sites/default/files/Role%20of%20Risk_Final-web%20PDF.pdf.

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