For Professionals

FAQ’s for Professionals

What is a BLGC mentor?

Our Mentors are all volunteers who are recruited and trained to work with children and young people on a 1 to 1 basis. They visit their mentee every other a week for a few hours and undertake activities that encourage a young person to develop their self-esteem, self confidence and build resilience. Some mentoring is delivered in the BLGC mentoring resource room or one of our club settings and some out and about in the community. Mentoring is about building a quality relationship, giving the young person someone they can talk to and do fun activities that are a low cost.

What is the criteria for making a referral?

Children living at home:

  • Need to live in the Bolton area and have a Bolton postcode.
  • Be between 8 years old and their 18th
  • Have to want to engage with a mentor.
  • Have to be able to work with a volunteer on a 1:1 basis
  • We need to be able to safeguard both the mentee and mentor in a 1:1 lone working setting.

Children in Care or Care leavers:

  • Need to live in the Bolton area and have a Bolton postcode.
  • If they are a Looked After Child they need to be Looked After by Bolton or have been living in Bolton for a long time (permanence) if another Local Authority has legal responsibility.
  • Be between 8 years old and their 24th birthday if a Care Leaver.
  • Have to want to engage with a mentor.
  • Have to be able to work with a volunteer on a 1:1 basis
  • We need to be able to safeguard both the mentee and Mentor in a 1:1 lone working setting.

How do I make a referral?

Referral status

  • Due to high demands our Mentoring Programme for children living at home is CLOSED  for new referrals until further notice. If the young person is 8 – 12 years old they can come to our Junior Youth Club, 12 years plus to our senior youth club. Go to Spa Road or Westhoughton for further more information.
  • Our Mentoring Programme for children who are Looked After and Care Leavers is OPEN for referrals.

To refer a young person to the mentoring service you need to use an early help form or complete our referral form then email it to mentoring@blgc.co.uk. You should get an automatic acknowledgement to say we have received it to this secured email address.

Looked After Child Mentoring Referral Form

Is there a waiting list?

Due to the history and success of the Mentoring Service there will always be a waiting list. We have two different programmes in Mentoring, one is for Looked After Children (LAC) and Care Leavers, the other for children and young people living at home. We can only work with a limited number of children and young people at any one time, thereafter they are placed on the waiting list until a space becomes available in that programme.

What happens when a place becomes available?

The young person will be allocated to a Coordinator and they will make contact with the referrer and whoever the young person lives to explain what the service is about. The Coordinator will contact and then arrange to meet the young person and explain the role of a Mentor and check to see if the young person still wants a Mentor. We only work with young people who want to engage with our service.

We also require consent from the legal guardian to work with a young person, or a young person themselves if they are old enough to give consent themselves.

How long are our mentors involved with a young person?

We ask all our volunteer mentors to be involved for about 18months – 2years. We use our discretion to match longer if it is beneficial to the young person and the mentor can offer this. We gradually reduce the frequency of the meetings when the match is coming to an arranged end.

Can I have the mentor’s contact details?

We do not give professionals our mentor’s personal contact details and ask that all communication is done through the Coordinator to ensure they are supported and stay within their role. We work with relevant professionals to update any relevant information on the match and act as the conduit between yourselves and the mentor.

What if I have a concern about a Mentor?

Any concerns you have about a Mentor should be directed to the Coordinator.

Contact Details

If you have a general query for the Mentoring Team, please get in touch via:

Phone: 01204 540 111

Email: Mentoring@blgc.co.uk

If you have a more specific question, or would like to request a Referral Form, please contact us and ask for either of our Programme Managers:

Nichola looks after our Children in Care Mentoring Service

Sarah looks after our Children at Home Mentoring Service

Complaints and Feedback can be directed to our Head of Targeted Youth Services: Sarah Randall

 

For Parents and Carers

If you are a parent of a young person and you think the Mentoring Service would benefit them, please find some more information below:

FAQ’s

What is BLGC mentoring?

Our mentors are all volunteers who are recruited and trained to work with children and young people on a 1 to 1 basis. They visit their mentee every other week for a few hours and undertake activities that encourage a young person to develop their self-esteem, self-confidence and build resilience. Some mentoring is delivered in the BLGC mentoring resource room or one of our club settings and some out and about in the community. Mentoring is about building a quality relationship giving the young person someone they can talk to.

How do you know about my child/young person?

Most children and young people are referred to the service by professionals supporting your child/young person and/or family. However, parents and carers can also refer to the service.

Why does my child/young person need a mentor?

A professional working with your child/young person or your family will have identified that additional support may benefit your child/young person, to support them with issues they may be experiencing at the moment.

Who are the mentors?

All our Mentors are volunteers. They are recruited from the community and have a genuine interest in wanting to mentor a child/young person. Before they can become a Mentor, they must attend all our training including safeguarding. We also carry out a DBS on our mentors, which is a Police check. We also obtain 2 written references from previous employers/ professionals.

What happens before my child/young person gets a Mentor?

Your child/young person will be allocated to a Coordinator who has worked with lots of young people. The Coordinator’s role is to speak with the person who referred your child/young person and check that the information is up to date. This will help us work more effectively with your child/young person.

We will then speak with you to arrange a home visit at a suitable time, to come and discuss what the service entails and look at how we may be able to support your child/young person. A consent form will need to be completed before we can work with your child/young person.

How do you find the right mentor for my child/young person?

From the home visit, we would visit a child/ young person a number of times in order to get to know your child/young person. Working with them and identifying what they think mentoring can help them with. We would try and find out their likes and dislikes are and do the match based on this. We would also look at the Mentor’s strengths and try and match on common interests if possible.

What will the Mentor do with my child/young person?

The Mentor will meet with your child/young person and take them to different places such as cafes, walks and activities at Bolton Lads and Girls Club to start to develop a relationship with them. We know it can take a while for children and young people to trust adults so we do this at the young person’s pace and we do not force them to go to places they don’t feel comfortable. After a while, they may come up with a weekly plan together of what they are going to do.

What is the Mentor Coordinator’s role?

The Coordinator’s role is to support both the child/young person and mentor. The Coordinator will speak to both the child/ young person each week to get an update on how mentoring is going. The Coordinator will also speak with professionals involved in the child/young person life to update on how the mentoring journey is going. The Coordinator will attend any meetings regarding the child/young person and will feedback to the mentor, what they need to know. Mentors do not attend meetings and do not have any contact with professionals involved, unless agreed with their Coordinator.

What support with I get as a parent or carer?

Although mentoring is for the child or young person, the Mentoring Coordinator will have contact with yourself to get updates on how things are going for your child/young person. We will provide support at meetings where necessary but the focus of the mentoring relationship is on the child or young person. Therefore, we ask our Mentors not to get involved with the family as this can blur the relationship between the child/young person and Mentor. The Mentor will introduce themselves to you so you know who your child/young person is going out with but will have minimal contact with you.

How long does mentoring last for?

An average relationship usually lasts for about 18 months – 2 years; however, we monitor this throughout the match and if needed mentoring can continue as long as there is a need. This will be discussed with your child/young person, the Mentor and the Coordinator.

How will mentoring end?

The match will be reviewed throughout and when the time is right to the end the match, we do a planned match end. We don’t want to create dependency with the mentor and this is why the match ends but we phase the visits out gradually. Once mentoring has ended we do not encourage Mentors to stay in touch.

Once mentoring has ended, can my child/young person still attend the club?

Of course they can! We would love to see them at any one of our youth clubs, getting involved in all the fun activities.