October 8, 2020 – Making Virtual Matches

Resources and Q&A with Kate Brenan from Minds Matter Colorado:

  • Video recording of Q&A portion with Kate – LINK
  • MMC mentor matching input form – LINK
  • MMC mentee matching input form – LINK
  • MMC speed matching session plan – LINK

Breakout Room Notes:

Successes and things that resonated from Q&A

  • All parties were intrigued by the notion of letting youth have the final say about the match.
  • Fostering Healthy Futures: Fostering Healthy Futures – Program format 1:1 Mentors are MSW students, youth are ages 9-11. Currently staff make all of the matching decisions – there are no pre-match meetings. Heather reports that some matches enjoy the mystery of being matched up without any previous knowledge about their potential match 
  • CHOICE – Adoption Exchange – Program format 1:1 Mentors are possible foster families/youth are in foster care. Because of the nature of the match – they are utilizing a total of 3 pre-match meetings before making a match. Match success is critical – so utilizing all 3 meetings to make sure that the match is comfortable is a critical step. 
  • Mountain Mentors – Program format 1:1 – this made her wonder about utilizing team mentoring in general and also got her thinking about perhaps utilizing a Peer-based approach for her older matches or older youth who have ‘aged-out’ of her program. 
  • Brain Injury Alliance – Looking at group mentorship process at BIA; debating how long to wait before shifting to a different role if there are no natural matches. Family engagement – family orientation (hasn’t launched yet; will be 1.5 hours) – hopeful this helps issues they’ve had around engagement.
  • United Way Pueblo – focusing on family engagement – struggled to connect in the past (MS school based – depended on school for family engagement). They can connect directly with the families now that they’re virtual. She is making phone calls to parents (they’re so excited to talk to her and ask ?s); gets to know family situation better
  • YWCA of Pueblo – she picks kids up in person, which allows her to make contact with parent and introduce herself, explain what they’re doing for the day. Middle of the week – make phone call to parent to check in. Families are very willing to engage.
  • Partners – Use Google Voice text messaging – parents don’t want them to call; monthly check ins with family; texting goes well, she can keep it up on browser for efficiency
  • Empowering Youth Mentor Program – mentor program in WA state for sexually or physically abused mentees. As she is the only staff, she has contact with everyone from the beginning of the process. Virtual format has made it easier to match young girls who live far out geographically. Talking to a mom gave her more info to make a match where both the mentor and mentee loved writing letters. She now checks in with family to see if mentee received letters and if she wrote back.
  • Partners Montrose: haven’t done a virtual match. Are having a hard time recruiting mentors. Considering posting an anonymous child profile to attract mentors with similar interest.
  • WA State Schools: Weekly sessions to meet and greet possible mentors
  • WA Mentors: some are meeting in person. Considering having a in person matching event
  • Pinellas County Schools (FL): hosting virtual coffees for their mentors

Questions/Resources still needed

  • What are programs seeing regarding attendance for mentors/mentees on scheduled weekend training or matching events?
  • Would Kate be willing to share training content?
  • How do we incorporate youth choice/voice in matching with younger youth (ages 9-11)?
  • Forms they’ve developed for community based mentoring program
    • Tanya at United Way Pueblo is sharing these with requester – had them created through TA
  • Create consistent virtual program and not treat virtual as a stop-gap
  • Efficiency around forms
    • Suggestions: Move to DocuSign or HelloSign

Get DocuSign through TechSoup (TechSoup is available free to any registered 501c3)

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