What is mentoring?
A mentor is an adult who befriends a younger person. It’s all about being friends, sharing common interests, and being exposed to new interests. It’s about teaching new skills to the youngster and encouraging them to be their greatest self. At Kinship of the Park Rapids Area, the mentor and child/youth normally spend an hour and more together and commit to a one year relationship. Matches generally continue beyond that first year.
What about me – the parent / guardian?
The parent/guardian’s role always comes first. The mentor is not there to replace your authority or role. He or she is there to be another special adult in the life of your child – much like a favorite aunt or uncle, grandma or grandpa. Studies have shown that many parents/guardians experience an improved relationship with their child/youth after they have been matched with a mentor.
Where do mentors come from?
They are caring adults in your community who truly like kids. Kinship staff speak with churches and civic groups, encouraging adults to consider being mentors. Active mentors often encourage their friends who also enjoy kids to consider mentoring. The mentor application process is thorough – providing at least three references, checks for a criminal background, child abuse and sex offense, and an extensive interview and training prior to being matched. Our mentors tell us they enjoy and value the mentoring relationship as much as the children and youth!
Do I have a say in with whom my child is matched?
Absolutely! The parent/guardian always has the final approval. You know your child/youth best. We encourage your input and frank discussion during the match process.
What do I do to apply to get a mentor?
Contact the Kinship office at (218) 732-0058. We will send you a parent/guardian application and child/youth application to complete. Upon completion, we will set up a time to interview you and your child/youth so that we have an opportunity to get to know you and understand the kind of person you’d like as a mentor for your child/youth.