The Yonge Street Mission is building its first family-to-family mentor program, which we believe may be the only of its kind in Canada. We will work with a small test group of families to begin in the first year, with the intent to expand to many more families within three years based on program success.
|The Yonge Street Mission
|Family-to-Family Mentorship Project
|Bridgeway Foundation, Kehila Fund, Redleaf Foundation, River Dali Fund
|Purpose of Investment:
|To create a new model of mentorship that permits families to mentor other families for positive parenting, communication and
Executive Summary from YSM:
Our goal is to build sustainable support networks for newcomer families who are at a point of crisis through a family-to-family mentorship program that will enable them to build real-life supportive relationships and friendships outside of our agency, reducing their need for our services over time. This program will also strengthen the broader communities of Regent Park, St. James Town and Moss Park. We know that the strength of a community is grounded in the strength of its families – and their ability to serve and care for one another.
Both families will commit to the relationship for a term of eight months to begin, and will work together to plan meetings and activities that will engage each family member.
This project will support the volunteer recruitment and training process, honorariums for mentor families, post-program impact measurement, as well as contributing to the Family Services team who will provide ongoing support to both the mentor and mentee families.
The mentor training package – including content on healthy boundaries, the child welfare act, cultural sensitivity and barriers facing families living with poverty has been produced for the benefit of families participating in the program.
In May, 2017 YSM will conduct a program evaluation to determine what worked and what didn’t, based on a questionnaire given to both families. Throughout the pilot year, we will continue to match new families as they are identified, and will refine as we go. We expect many of the mentor families to come from YSM’s partner churches, including St. Paul’s Anglican Church, The Meeting House and Peoples Church. The long-term impact of this program will be stronger, stabilized mentee families, fulfilled mentor families and healthier communities.