Sponsoring (Mentoring) a Child at The Children's Home of Lubbock
The mentor program is designed to provide a child with a special friend aside from family or staff. We hope that each mentor will enhance the life of a child by establishing a close personal relationship and by providing opportunities the child may not otherwise receive. The program is meant to augment and support the daily care program of the Children’s Home. The program is also an opportunity for a volunteer to enrich his or her own life by sharing with a child.
While the child is in the company of a mentor, the mentor will be responsible for the general care and supervision of the child. It is the desire of the staff of The Children's Home of Lubbock that the mentor will become an integral part of the child’s life and the child care team.
Children eligible for the mentor program range from ages 5 to 18 years old. They must be adjusted to the routine of cottage life and be secure enough to succeed in a mentor’s home. These children come from all social, financial and ethnic backgrounds. Some of the children are placed by their families, who for various reasons are unable to care for the basic needs of their child.
Some of the children are placed by the Children’s Protective Services or Juvenile Probation Office. Typically, these children have experienced abuse in one form or another.
Each one of these children, no matter what the reasons are for placement, has the same thing in common: a need for healthy relationships. Most of these children have a desire for adult guidance, companionship and unconditional love.
What might I commit as a mentor?
A child’s mentor should plan to see, call, write or have the child in his or her home at least every other week. It is recommended that the child be able to spend one weekend each month with their mentor. A mentor must consider carefully the demands of the job and be willing to commit at least one full year to the child.
Other levels and styles of involvement may also be appropriate for a child. Consistency and dependability in the relationship are critical to the child. Whatever you agree to commit to this program, it is important that the child’s expectations are properly set and that you do your best to follow through for the child.
What might I do as a mentor?
During your time together, you and the child will plan to do the activities you both enjoy. These might be watching a movie, bowling, picnics, playing ball, sharing a project, shopping, or just relaxing at home.
You might share trade or sports skills with the child or help with tutoring in academic subjects. Reading a story or article of mutual interest to you and the child and discussing the ideas presented can be a great way to share values.
Extended visits and time away from campus are special; however, these times should be balanced. It is not in the best interest of the child to be separated from their cottage and routine for a major part of their free time.
How do I become a mentor?
Each person wishing to become a mentor must complete the following application and orientation procedures:
Complete and return an application to The Children's Home of Lubbock.
Three personal references returned.
A criminal records check is initiated through the Texas Department of Protective and Regulatory Services.
A personal interview is scheduled and conducted with a Unit Director.
The applicant participates in the next scheduled (monthly) orientation.
Introduction to children and staff is made and limited visits begin.
Final approval and privileges are granted.
In addition, each mentor will be required to sign a form that states the responsibility of the mentor to report any signs of child abuse or neglect to the program supervisor.
With these accomplished, a good and enriching relationship will be on its way!
Am I then on my own?
A mentor’s relationship with a child is supported and coordinated by the child’s Unit Director, and that person may be contacted for any concern or special help needed. If the mentor prefers, an appointment may be scheduled.
What happens in an emergency?
Each mentor will receive a notarized medical and transportation authorization for the child. If a child gets hurt and requires medical attention, it will be the responsibility of the mentor to fill that need. Should an emergency arise, the mentor should contact the child care staff or the caseworker as soon as possible. The appropriate phone numbers will be provided. The Children's Home will reimburse the mentor if any medical expenses are incurred.
Will discipline be a problem?
During the initial orientation, mentors are given detailed guidelines on appropriate means of managing behavior while the child is in their care. Basically, the mentor may take away privileges, or formulate logical consequences to address behavioral problems. Mentors will be given positive ways of dealing with behavioral issues that do not include corporal punishment.
To apply for the Mentor Program, or for further information, please contact:
The Children's Home of Lubbock
(806) 762-0481, Extension 238