The Respite Program is part of the Fostering & Adoption Services Division of the Department for Child Protection Western Australia. The Respite Program has three components: mentoring, camps & day programs, and respite foster carers who support full-time foster carers by giving them a break. Referrals to the Respite Program for young people can only be made by officers within the Department. The Mentoring Program aims to provide young people in care with a friend and positive role model so they have the opportunity to develop an affirming relationship in which they feel supported. All of the young people referred to our program have suffered abuse and consequently it may take a little longer for them to build trust and form bonds. However, the journey is worthwhile – making a difference in the lives of these young people is especially rewarding. Mentors are well-prepared for their role with appropriate training and regular supervision. Mentors are also given regular support which occurs on a one to one basis both on the telephone and face to face. We also facilitate mentor social gatherings to provide opportunity for networking, discussion of common issues and to build moral. Some key areas we hope mentors can assist our young people with are; forming a positive self-image, building confidence, resilience, forming positive attachments and other skills that will assist them in adulthood. This is a voluntary role with no salary (all expenses i.e. petrol, activities are reimbursed). Mentors and young people are matched based on a range of factors which includes personal interests, personality types and location. We do emphasise the need for a 12 months commitment to this role.
Mentoring Program (Department for Child Protection)
Program Type: One to One
Contact Person: Mark Abbottq
Phone: 9286 5200
Address: 2 Curtin Avenue, Cottesloe, WA, 6011
Mentor Age: 18+
Mentee Age: 9-17
Child Protection Policy: Yes
Mentor Training: Yes, training is provided for mentors
Training Process of Mentors Still to be confirmed by the program. Please contact them directly for more information.
Mentor Screening: Yes, screening is provided for mentors
Screening Process of Mentors: Potential mentors would be subject to the Department for Child Protections screening processes which includes Police and working with children checks. Potential mentors contributions during training would also be used to assess them for suitability. *There has been a wonderful response to our volunteer mentor recruitment campaign and, just for now, we have enough female applicants. However, we would like to encourage more males and Aboriginal mentors, as there will be some boys who would really benefit from a positive male role model, particularly those who have very few males in their lives.
Mentor Position Description: Once matched with a young person, the mentor would be responsible to provide support on a consistent, ongoing basis. This includes talking with the young person about any issues they have in their life and providing suitable advice and direction. The amount of contact the mentor and young person has would be decided on a case by case basis but most commonly this would occur on a fortnightly basis for 2-3 hours.
Mentor Minimum Commitment: We request mentors commit for 12 months. After this period the 'match' is reviewed and in collaboration with the mentor, young person and relevant others, a decision made to extend or cease. Expectations are managed with the young people involved in the program being made aware that mentoring is for a set period.