The Administration for Children’s Services believes in the City’s foster care youth – their resilience, their strength and their potential. A mentor can play an important role in the life of a young person in foster care by providing support and guidance. Children’s Services is committed to increasing the number of quality mentoring opportunities available to youth in foster care.
Although Children’s Services does not directly run any mentoring programs, there are numerous organizations that can help guide potential mentors to a mentoring program serving youth who are in foster care:
Big Brothers Big Sisters of New York City (BBBS)
BBBS’ mission is to provide mentors to children who need a caring adult role model. BBBS works to increase the number of professionally supervised, long-term, one-to-one mentoring relationships in NYC. For one hundred years, BBBS has been pairing adult volunteers from the community-at-large with young people aged 7 to 18 who have been referred for mentoring services. In addition, the corporate workplace program BBBS matches high school youth with pairs of adults for mentoring that takes place in the workplace. The organization also provides technical assistance to hundreds of organizations to implement quality mentoring programs. BBBS serves hundreds of foster care youth and families from the five boroughs. The time commitment is only four hours every other week for one year. Mentoring pairs arrange their time and activities at mutually convenient times and locations. To learn more, or to apply to be a mentor, call 212.686.2042 or visit www.bigsnyc.org
Mentoring Partnership of New York (MPNY)
MPNY is an advocate for the expansion of quality mentoring opportunities for New York City youth and a resource for mentors and mentoring initiatives city-wide. MPNY helps individuals and groups from different sectors become involved in mentoring opportunities for youth. The Mentoring Partnership has a membership base of over 130 diverse program partners, serving youth ages 5 to 21 from a variety of populations across NYC, including youth with special needs and youth in foster care. To learn more, contact the Mentoring Partnership of New York at 1-800-83-YOUTH or visit www.mentoring.org/ny
Mentoring USA (MUSA)
Founded by Matilda Raffa Cuomo in 1995, MUSA trains and supports mentors at schools, community centers and foster care agencies. MUSA has five programs - General, English as a Second Language, Heroic Choices, Foster Care and Adoption Mentoring(“Adoptment”). All help children aged 5 to 21 improve their self-esteem, broaden their vision of opportunities and succeed in school. The Foster Care program establishes consistent, caring adult relationships for youth in care, assisting youth in developing coping and problem-solving skills, to nurture competence and resilience, strengthen relationships with adults, encourage development of aspirations and goals, reduce harmful risk-taking behavior, and introduce them to enjoyable opportunities and experiences. The “Adoptment” program is designed to enrich the lives of young adoptees and/or prospective adoptees by offering a connection with adopted adults or adults who have been part of the foster care system. All programs provide one-on-one matches meeting under site-based supervision. To learn more, or to apply to be a mentor, call 212-400-8277 or visit www.mentoringusa.org
Note: Please keep in mind that all mentoring programs require a nine month to one year commitment and are strictly done on a volunteer (unpaid) basis, so please consider carefully if mentoring is the right option for you.
To learn more about becoming a mentor, vist our Mentoring Best