INTERESTED IN BECOMING A VOLUNTEER MENTOR?
About the volunteer mentor service
What is a volunteer mentor?
A mentor is a responsible adult volunteer who befriends and supports a child or young person who is in the care of the Department of Communities. These children and young people are aged between 9 and 17 years and may be living in residential group homes or foster care. Because they have experienced a difficult start in life, they need to form a positive stable relationship with a special friend who enjoys spending time with them and participating in activities that will help them to develop life skills.
Why do some children and young people need a volunteer mentor?
Most children and young people come into the care of the Department due to abuse or chronic neglect, and others because have no responsible adult to care for them. They have all had experiences that most children and young people from loving homes have not been exposed to and are in need a supportive adult in their life - someone to guide them and make them feel good about themselves.
Could I be a volunteer mentor?
Volunteer mentors are everyday people with good interpersonal skills who like to help others, especially children and young people. You can be male or female, studying, working full or part-time, or retired; you just need to be committed and willing to change the life of a young person. You would need to be able to commit to a minimum of 12 months, visiting a young person every two weeks and be prepared to attend training and learn new skills.
*We would like to encourage Aboriginal mentors, as we try to support young people to connect with their culture. We also require more male mentors to support our young men, particularly those who live with female relatives, who will benefit from a positive male role model.
The need for more Aboriginal volunteer mentors
Aboriginal children make up a significant proportion of children in care. Wherever possible, our Department tries to keep Aboriginal children within their families and local communities to help maintain their identity and connection to their culture. When this is not possible, we need to place children with families who are not of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander descent. We are always looking for more Aboriginal people who would be interested in becoming a volunteer mentor to a young person in care, particularly those who don’t have many opportunities to connect with their culture. We have Aboriginal staff who are available to talk to you further about this.
Volunteer mentors are provided with all the training and support that they need, and are reimbursed for out of pocket expenses and mileage.
If you would like further information regarding the program please contact the Program Coordinator on 0419 938 967 or email Mentor.Program@communities.wa.gov.au.