A Coaching and Mentoring Program
The program has been designed around the concept of Mitji Ngwali (coaching) and mentoring. The power of these approaches, working in tandem, offers a unique experience for participants where they are supported and encouraged to find their strengths and weaknesses and move beyond the limitations set by themselves and others. When the young person is truly centred on the things that matter to them, and these things are linked to their schooling and day to day living, great changes are possible.
The opportunity for a young person to have two people who take the time just for them and who listen without prejudice means that they are truly heard, respected and acknowledged. This in turn allows the young person to express the things that matter to them and grow within a safe and supported environment. Where required, the C4H will offer practical support through education for the parents or carers of these young people.
Our coaches work through the five circles of community this time representing how they grow and develop strategies to truly understand themselves and others. This enables them to become linked to the community in whatever they find suits them. It also enables them to understand the importance of education to further their own interests and to allow them a successful life.
How is the program structured?
The program is typically 12 months in duration. In the first and second terms: 1 to 1.5 hour sessions with a coach and mentor on alternate weeks. After this, in the third and fourth terms: the young person works fortnightly with the mentor. This approach enables the young person to link strongly to the community and ensure that their progress is solid and supported.
Once the program is completed, the young person may consider becoming a young mentor and assisting other young people who are in the program.
What are the key roles in the Centre for Hope program?
Student – A young person is considered eligible for the program if they are aged between 13-16 years and are displaying behaviours that place them ‘at risk’. Those behaviours include but are not limited to - Absenteeism from school; exclusion from the classroom, unexplained deterioration in grades, those who are excluded in the playground or who are being bullied, behavioural indicators, disappearing at night, insufficient extended family support.
Criteria for participation includes:
The young person must have the permission of their parent or guardian to participate in the program
A minimum commitment to attend times set aside to work with their coach and mentor
To undertake tasks that may be set and to communicate if they are not happy with the arrangements.
Coach – A professionally trained coach who works or has worked in the coaching profession or has trained and is seeking coaching experience under supervision. Coaches have their own business or facility to be paid as a sub-contractor and are not employed by the Centre For Hope. They are willing to undertake some additional training on working with youth and be willing to undertake supervision of their coaching. They are also willing to have a Police and ‘Working with Children’ check conducted. They own their own car, which is comprehensively insured.
Mentor – A person who has a desire to assist young people to connect to the wider community. Our mentors will be given training on working with young people and their role as mentor. They will also attend a quarterly workshop regarding their role and to discuss any concerns. They are also willing to have a Police and ‘Working with Children’ check conducted. They ideally would own their own car, which is comprehensively insured and be prepared to commit to working with a young person over a period of 1 year.
Student to Mentor – Have undertaken their year as a mentee with C4H and be willing to work as a young mentor with other young people who are in the program. This may include working with a mentor and another participant or being involved in group activities, which allows this young person to engage with a peer and role model. Their commitment is to work in this role for an agreed period and with a view to enhancing their own skill base further. It is an unpaid role, although will build skills and experiences that are transferable to paid work.
Advocate – A person who is willing to act as a representative of C4H in the event that a young person or their family requires assistance either through the school system or some other government authority. This person may have specific legal skills, but this is not a requirement, they will have undertaken some training with an external group to fulfil this role.
Parents – The parents may be referred by their child’s school or may be referred by another agency, group or individual that seeks to assist them in their role as parent or to support their child. A parent may seek to use the services of C4H and pay for participation in the program on an ‘as needs’ basis for a fee agreed by C4H and the individual parents. They may also be considered for a subsidised use of the service if they meet criteria as set out in the service agreement. Regardless of payment form, every parent is required to agree to their child participating in the program and, where reasonable, support their child to access the services of C4H.
Schools – Referrals can be made by any school. Partner schools are those who nominate a group of students to participate in the program. The students of partner schools are given priority in terms of resources. The school may pay a fee as agreed with C4H to access the program and this is determined by both parties.
Referrers – Private referral are assessed on a needs basis. Costs will be agreed (including subsidies) upfront.
Government agencies – C4H welcomes referrals from government departments and this is based on a user pay system with costs (including subsidies) determined on each individual case. C4H is willing to work in a multi-disciplinary team to support successful outcomes for the young person.
NGO / NFP – C4H welcomes referrals from other NGO’s and will assess on an individual basis as to costs. C4H will actively support other NGO’s to support young people and work in a multi-disciplinary team to bring about best outcomes for the young person involved. Advocate – each partner organisation will appoint a representative who is responsible for the liaison between the partner organisation and the appointed representative of C4H. This person will undergo an induction into C4H’s program and be key to the program being implemented through the partner organisation.
How do you select program participants and partners?
In accordance with the mission statement of C4H, we endeavour to support any young person regardless of their background and we are willing to work with other agencies, schools or NGO’s to facilitate positive outcomes for these young people. Needs will be assessed on an individual basis.
Partners in our work either as referral or support will undertake agreements that support the ethos of C4H. Specific agreement will be given where the partners are from another organisation to match the outcomes for the assisting organisation to ensure effort is aligned across organisations, C4H will establish Agreements with any partners prior to commencing work. These agreements will outline the approach and outcomes.
CEO or appointed representative of C4H matches the young person to the coach and mentor based on:
A brief questionnaire completed by participants regarding their likes/dislikes, interests, hobbies and reason for wanting to be a part of the program.
An expression of interest by coaches and mentors, as well an indication of their hobbies and interests. The young person also has the right to request a replacement if they feel they are not able to work well with the people appointed to them.
What are the outcomes of the program?
Evidence shows that up to 30% of hospitalisations for teenagers aged 14-19 is due to intentional self-harm, assault and injury from accidents, the predilection to risk taking behaviour and substance abuse. Further, youth suicide accounts for nearly 20% of all teenage deaths. By alleviating the psychological distresses and dislocation from the wider community and re-routing the predicted pathway to harm and suicide in young teenagers the Centre for Hope program will improve the impact of young people on the community, and reduce community expenditure.
Examples of outcomes include:
Establishing links between program participants and the community
Increased school attendance
Increased support for families
Improvement in grades
Increased comfort for young person in school or social settings
What successes have the Centre for Hope experienced?
So far the C4H has been involved with some wonderful young people who are beginning to find ways to make a difference in their community. Large or small achievements mean the difference for the young person and some of the smaller outcomes include:
The young person being given awards at school for their performance in the classroom
Holding their head up and changing their demeanour when speaking with adults and their peers
Feeling able to be considered for a scholarship or continuing their education to a tertiary level show the impact that working with these young people can achieve.
Having a mother say, “My son now speaks to me, and asks what I think.”
One young person feels so passionate about playing the didgeridoo and has such a talent that he has put together a teaching program for others to learn not only to play but how to make their own didgeridoo.
For more information contact Geraldine Moran on firstname.lastname@example.org or 0438 466 029.