Learn more details about the YES Mentoring program and how you will be able to help a youth in foster care!
Mentoring is a structured and trusting relationship that brings teens affiliated with CPS together with caring adults who offer guidance and encouragement aimed at developing the autonomy and supporting the growth of these young adults as they begin to navigate adulthood.
Mentors are all required to comply with DFPS licensing standards. Mentors must be over 21, and able to clear a background check. Once this has been completed prospective mentors will participate in online training and meet in-person with someone from the YES Mentoring Team to ensure they are a good fit for the program.
YES Mentoring serves youth aged 14+ who are in or have been affiliated with the foster care system in the greater Austin area. Participation is voluntary, but youth are encouraged to complete programming once committed.
YES Mentoring takes into account many factors when matching YES Mentors with YES youth; including geographical location, age, gender, goals, and interests. All mentor-youth matches are at will, and though we will encourage and support participation, if either party needs to withdraw we accommodate those requests.
YES Mentoring provides in-depth upfront training for all mentors to cover the foundations and important programmatic information. Additionally, all YES Mentors are provided with wraparound support services including the opportunity for 1:1 check-in, phone calls, meetings, and community support through connections with other mentors. YES Mentoring prides itself on providing comprehensive support to all mentors.
This varies with each youth. Some youth have cell phones, if this is the case, it is easy to text message, or call your YES Youth. If they do not have access to a cell phone, communication can include email, and talking on the phone using parent/guardian/caregiver lines.
This also varies with each youth. However, some activities that have been done in the past are: grocery shop/plan together, cook a meal together, learn bus routes, work on job hunting, applications, resumes, go out to eat, pack a picnic, go to a park, play sports, take a walk or hike, do service work, visit a college or vocational school and many more possibilities. The YES Mentoring team also plan activities for you and your youth to attend together at no cost.
Saturday YES Classes are an opportunity for youth and mentors to come together in a supported environment to explore and learn financial literacy and life skills and begin relationship building. They are broken into 2 semesters (with a break for summer), and the same curriculum is repeated fall and spring. They occur once a month. It is recommended that mentors attend the semester's worth of monthly Saturday classes with their youth. Mentors and youth are able to participate in both semesters worth of Saturday YES classes if they are interested. Though the materials are the same, the experience can help solidify the knowledge. If you are absolutely unable to attend the Saturday YES classes, please let us know and we can work with you to determine how to proceed on a case by case basis.
YES Mentoring provides a combination of educational, experiential, and service-based projects for mentors to participate in with their assigned youth. Some examples include: Saturday YES Financial Literacy/Life Skills courses, yoga outings, movie nights, Bat Boat river cruises, Craft experiences, and more.