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Resources for Mentors of Foster Care Youth
Mentors of children and youth in foster care will build stronger, longer-lasting matches if they understand the culture of foster care and have access to resources that help their mentees to better address the issues they face. This section contains links to information aimed at assisting mentors through the entire match relationship, from connecting with their mentee to supporting their transition to independence; mentors of adolescents, teens and young adults will find these resources especially useful. Mentor Michigan will continue to update this list as new resources are identified or become available.
Foster Youth In Transition
The Michigan Department of Human Services (DHS) created this site for foster care youth preparing to transition to independence and adulthood; it is updated by members of the Michigan foster youth boards. Mentors can help mentees find answers to their questions about a variety of issues here: education, employment, finances, housing, transportation, legal assistance, etc, as well as how to get involved in foster care issues on the local, state and national level.
Dr. John Seita's Free Training Materials
Dr. John Seita is a foster care alumnus who is now an associate professor of Social Work at Michigan State University. His articles on strength-based interventions,"Claiming the Unreclaimable" and "Troubled but Talented," are helpful in orienting mentors to the relational strategies that build trust with and resilience in their foster care mentees.
A national magazine written for and by youth in the foster care system. Mentors can read articles to get a better understanding the foster care experience and the issues that affect these youth, and utilize some of the suggested activities as appropriate.
ReachOut.com - We Can Help Us
A website that collects stories from teens on how they've dealt or are coping with the issues that affect their life - anxiety, depression, drugs and alcohol, family, peers, school, etc. A few of the stories pertain to the experiences of foster care youth; mentors may want to listen to Wilfredo's audio story on "Entering Foster Care" or read Tough times and good times on the last page of "Dealing with Family Dynamics."
Helpguide.com - Teen Depression
Youth in foster care are more likely to suffer from depression or contemplate suicide. This webpage contains information on how to recognize the signs of depression and how to best communicate with a depressed teen. Also see the link for teens - "Dealing with Teen Depression: Tips and Tools for Teens."
Looking for more information on what having a mentee in Foster Care really means? Check out this article in The Chronicle of Evidence-Based Mentoring, a website with strong resources for mentors and mentoring programs.
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