Mentor Program

Let's work together to create a better Foster Experience for us all.

Purpose

The F.L.A.G. President is starting this program with the goal of making this into one of the Association Member Benefits. There are multiple purposes for this program.

  1. As Parents, we are in a whole different world when it comes to caring for children and working with the State. The complexities of caring for children who are not ours is difficult in and of itself. To navigate this alone can be overwhelming until we have been immersed. But, once we think we have worked it out, that child goes home and we receive a new child. We quickly learn that we have new responsibilities, and new obligations to navigate and consider.
  2. There are very few who understand what we endure and know how to do all that we do. When working with a Mentor, shared information will protect us, save our time, and create a network of informed Parents who can work smarter and not harder.
  3. Information not shared is lost. Each child is different and has special needs. However, if I do not share these experiences with you, we all loose. If we all begin to collaborate, we will all succeed. We will be more effective in meeting the needs of our children.
  4. Creating a network of knowledge means we can support our children quickly. The information we have among our Members, is astounding when I begin to speak with other parents asking questions I am amazed at how we have all gone through trial and error, but we learned valuable steps along the way. If we were to skip some of these unnecessary hardships of the trial by error, imagine how quickly we can get things accomplished.
  5. This information is for us, so we can best help the children. Sometimes we have these children for a very short window of time. Without knowledge, we can potentially jeopardize a child's prosperous and healthy future. However, if we do work together, we can quickly learn how to most effectively meet their needs. I don't know about you, but I do not like to spin my wheels and waste time.
  6. Retain Good Parents. I have seen too many Foster Parents leave because they did not receive the support needed while caring for their first few placements. We would like to keep our Good Parents.
  7. Saves time for the DFCS Staff.

The Benefits

Benefits for Mentors

  • Learning
  • Expansion of sphere of influence
  • Reinforcement of accomplishments
  • Opportunity to reciprocate
  • Recognition
  • Focused investment on one person
  • Improved Communication and People Skills
  • Opportunity to change many lives

Benefits for Mentees

  • Support in attaining skills/ knowledge/ attitudes/ culture awareness
  • Encouragement for faster learning and growth
  • Increased confidence
  • Greater exposure and visibility
  • Increased feeling of being more valued as a Parent
  • Improved communication and expanded network

Benefits for F.L.A.G.

  • Speeds identification, development and retention of Parents
  • Supports organizational commitment to personal growth and organizational contribution
  • Improves communication and reduction of silos
  • Supports knowledge, culture, values and strategy transfer for greater productivity
  • Promotes a greater sense of community and more inclusion with diversity
  • Uses the resources you already have

Details

Two types of Mentors

    • FLAG Mentors – Resource Parents with 3 years experience or more.
    • Impact Mentors – Flag Bearers who are new to Fostering and have received a min of 1 placement.

FLAG Mentors

  • Parents with 3 years experience or more
  • Able to collaborate boundaries
    • Availability and schedule
    • Method of Communication

Impact Mentors

    • Mentorship Term: This is up to you, however at minimum it will last from when they graduate Impact and after they receive their first placement.
    • Flag Bearers who are new to Fostering and have received a min of 1 placement.
    • Must have a FLAG Mentor
    • Encourages Mentee to become a Mentor once they complete Impact Mentorship
    • Able to collaborate boundaries
      • Availability and schedule
      • Method of Communication

Rules

  1. Think out of the box. In a regular Mentorship program the Mentor will set goals for the Mentee and each meeting. Our goals look a lot different.
    • Short Term Goals
      • Did I make it through today? Yes! - YAY!
      • Do I need to take this kid to the hospital?
      • What questions do I need to ask ___________________?
      • How am I doing personally? Do I need help? Do I need a break?
      • Am I having trouble getting something done for my child?
    • Long Term Goals
      • Mentor is available to answer questions and put out fires.
      • Mentee encourages relationship and asks questions when new things occur
      • Mentor and Mentee share valuable information with FLAG Mentor Lead so items can be documented and shared with the group.
      • Refer to The Benefits Section above for the other goals.
  2. Mentorship Term of Engagement:
    • Impact Mentor - At minimum it will last from when they graduate Impact until they receive the Georgia (Foster) Parent license, aka - told their home is now approved. Prior to receiving the first placement, let the FLAG Mentor Lead know so new assignment can be made with a FLAG Mentor.
    • FLAG Mentor - Once the Georgia (Foster) Parent license is secured, the Mentee will begin to change from the Impact Mentor Program to the FLAG Mentor Program.
    • Although, the actual time frame is up to you, you are welcome to continue it forever if you wish. You may find that you would like to be the FLAG Mentor for the Impact Graduate once they have progressed through some "benchmarks". Just keep the FLAG President aware so you are not bothered to Mentor someone new.
    • If for some reason you are not gelling with your Mentor or Mentee, contact the FLAG Mentor Lead to change Mentors. This is not a reflection on you, this is just to find good connections which benefit the whole group. - Don't let it go long, because we might miss the actual amazing pairing you were meant to be with.
  3. What the Mentorship Program IS NOT...
    • Telling someone else what they need to do.
    • Breaking any rules we have in place.
    • Criticizing or gossiping about Parents or DFCS Staff.
  4. What the Mentorship Program IS...
    • The Mentor shares from experience
    • Make suggestions with options
    • Allowing the Mentee to make their own decision, even if it’s wrong or if it hurts them
    • Knowing when to ask for more help. (The FLAG Mentor Lead is always here to help.)
    • Encourage honest and open discussion. Keep the dialogue open throughout your relationship.

Interested in learning more about general Mentorship?

Like Statistics?

  • Retention rates are higher for mentees (72%) and for mentors (69%) than non-mentoring participants (49%). (Sun Microsystems)
  • When peer mentoring is done effectively the “average engagement capital” can increase by 66%. (Corporate Leadership Council, 2011)
  • People are 77% more likely to stay in a job if they are in a mentoring relationship—particularly your younger generations. 35% of employees who do not receive regular mentoring look for another job within 12 months. (Emerging Workforce study by Spherion, 2012)
  • 83% of professionals would like to be involved in a mentoring program, yet only 29% are in workplaces that offer them. (Robert Walters Recruiting)
  • When peer mentoring is done well the average engagement capital can increase by 66%. (Corporate Leadership Council)
  • Mentoring increases learning retention: With mentoring managerial productivity increased by 88% verses 24% with training alone. (ASTD)
  • Mentoring encourages beneficial diversity: Diversity training has been proven to have negative effects. (TIME) Only mentoring teaches people how to practically work across differences. (MLT)
  • Mentoring helps keep valuable employees: Over 40% of internal job moves involving high potential employees end in failure. (Harvard Business Review). Losing employees costs 100-300% of the replaced employee’s salary. (Society of Human Resource Management)

EMail dekalbflag@gmail.com to get involved.