Parent Mentor Training Program

Parent/Mentor Training Program

Coming in I had no desire to have anything to do with horses. After two weeks I decided to ride a horse and I fully love it now.
— Markenzia. 16 years old

Parents of children enrolled at Time Out Foundation and individuals from the community who would like to become mentors in either of our two major programs (equine-assisted therapy or wilderness-based therapy) are invited to participate in our ongoing parent/mentor-training program. The program is meant to help parents learn effective techniques in conflict resolution and to develop the skills they need to ensure their children receive the same attention and care at home as they do at Time Out Foundation. The program is also designed to teach prospective volunteer mentors the skills they must have if they are to work with the children we see.

Participation in the program as a mentor trainee does not guarantee an eventual position as a volunteer mentor, as many candidates find that their real strengths lie not in working one on one with a child, but in helping out in other areas related to TimeOut Foundation’s mission.

The parent/mentor-training group meets for 90-minute sessions every other week, and volunteer-mentor candidates must actively participate in a minimum of 12 sessions. The purpose of these group meetings is to:

1. Provide a safe and open forum for Time Out's parents and prospective volunteer mentors to share their experiences as parents and to learn proper mentor behavior and technique; and…

2. to allow the mentor trainer to assess the character, readiness, and skills of each candidate.

Individuals who successfully complete the training program and are invited to become mentors are eventually matched to children based on a variety of factors, including gender, interests, schedule, and location. Prospective mentors always meet with the child and his or her parents/guardians first for an interview to ensure compatibility before the match is made. The goal, always, is to keep the child’s best interest in mind. If a mentor is not a good fit, another will be found.