We believe that the guidance and care of a trained and involved adult mentor is one of the best answers to that question.
Our Youth Mentoring program sets out to resource, refer, and support mentoring programs throughout Porter County to reach new levels of success and change the lives of students in our community. By identifying best practices, we hope to train and empower passionate adult mentors to better effect the outcomes and experiences of children and adolescents ages 10 to 17, with an emphasis on how to provide care for youth who have been directly affected by substance abuse, or by adverse childhood experiences which can lead to substance abuse.
Data has indicated that adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) can have a profound impact on the development of children, ultimately being a key predictive factor in terms of not only substance abuse, but of violence, incarceration, social problems, and health issues. While we cannot make these adverse experiences go away, we hope that by facilitating the presence of positive, caring role models, we can provide the kind of stable, compassionate support systems that youth need to thrive and develop resilience to life’s challenges.
By using the Elements of Effective Practice for Mentoring and a collection of interdisciplinary resources, we will create a toolkit that allows us to train volunteers to reach their highest potential. Our toolkit will not only teach skills useful for the art of mentoring itself, such as trauma-informed care, setting and maintaining boundaries, motivational interviewing, substance abuse prevention, and social and emotional learning, it will also include invaluable practices for mentors’ own personal development, with a concern for self-care, personal growth, and safety.
We will be undertaking this endeavor with the guidance of a committee of experienced professionals in the mentoring field, ensuring that our time and resources are spent for the betterment of all, to build a stronger and healthier community. We hope to forge effective and mutually beneficial partnerships with established mentoring programs already hard at work in our community, in order to open lines of communication and share resources to the benefit of all.
Our commitment to our youth is fundamental to the mission of the Porter County Substance Abuse Council, and we recognize that their future is our future.
If you would like to know more about our Youth Mentoring Program, or are interested in becoming a mentor yourself, please contact Program Coordinator, Jason Warne.