Step 1: Complete an application form
To request an application form please email Mentor.Program@communities.wa.gov.au.
If you would like to talk to the volunteer mentor program coordinator about the program, please phone 0419 938 967.
Step 2: Meet with the volunteer mentor program coordinator
When a potential match is identified, the mentor program coordinator will contact you to arrange a suitable time for you to meet for an interview, where you will have the chance to ask questions and find out more about the program. You will be asked to bring along 100 points of ID and Working with Children’s card (if you have one).
If you decide you would like to apply to become a volunteer mentor, you’ll be asked to complete a record screening consent form which allows the Department to conduct departmental records and police checks.
Step 3: Training
Once selected, you will be invited to attend a comprehensive training program which is run over two sessions. This training will provide you with knowledge and skills to become a volunteer mentor. It will cover topics such as how to build positive relationships with young people in care, managing challenging behaviour, understanding trauma and attachment, confidentiality, boundaries, communication, and issues that affect young people at risk.
All prospective mentors are expected to complete the training in full to demonstrate their commitment. The Department would not be able to offer you a mentor role if you fail to complete training as it is essential that you understand your role and the needs of children and young people in care and how to respond to them.
Step 4: Assessment
After the final training session we would hope that you can demonstrate that you understand your commitment to the volunteer mentor role; that you have an awareness of the topics covered in the training; that you share the values, attitudes and ethos of the Department; and that you are emotionally able to support a young person in care.
Step 5: The match
As a volunteer mentor your skills, interests, personality, availability, and location will be taken into account when considering a match. The same process is carried out for the young person.
The mentor program coordinator will then visit the young person with their case manager to discuss mentoring and talk about meeting with you. If the young person agrees, the mentor program coordinator will arrange a time when you, the young person, their carer and mentor program coordinator can all meet up. This first visit is usually a short one and often takes place within the young person’s home.
After the first month, the mentor program coordinator will talk to the young person to check that they would like to continue with the match and program. This to ensure that the young person is equally committed to having a mentor/friend and improves the chances of match succeeding.
Step 6: The visits
The next visit a mentor has with a young person is usually alone, but this can be in the young person’s home or local area as they get to know you. By the third visit the young person often feels more comfortable with the mentor and activities have been discussed and an outing planned.
Step 7: Ongoing support
The mentor receives regular, on-going supervision, training opportunities, mentor workshop events, and supervision support for the duration of their match. All Volunteer mentors are asked to submit reports after each session, provide regular expense claims, and to inform the mentor program coordinator of any visits they plan to have with the young person.