Adoption Option Inc.’s YIT Mentoring services are designed to facilitate readiness for independence into adulthood for youth ages 14-21 who were in foster care placement one day after their 14th birthday. Youth are matched with trained and qualified mentors based on common interests and overall compatibility.

YIT Mentoring Services For Youth

AOI’s YIT Mentoring services are designed to facilitate readiness for independence into adulthood for youth ages 14-21 who were in foster care placement after their 14th birthday. This program currently services Midland, Gladwin, Isabella, and Saginaw Counties.

Youth will be matched with a qualified trained adult mentor based on common interests and overall compatibility. Youth and Mentor are to meet face to face, a minimum of two times per month and spend a combined total of four hours per month for at least 12 months. Youth, Mentor, and Mentor Specialist will develop SMART goals together at the beginning of the match. Mentor and Youth will participate in appropriate activities that align with the goals that were created and develop a positive supportive relationship.

Availability

  • Midland, Gladwin, Isabella, and Saginaw Counties
  • This program requires a referral from the Department of Health and Human Services.
  • Open to Youth in Midland, Gladwin, Isabella, and Saginaw Counties who are currently in or previously placed in Foster Care between the ages of 14 and 21.

How to Access Services

  • Contact your Midland, Gladwin, Isabella, or Saginaw County DHHS worker to inquire about a referral.
  • To find out more information on the program, please e-mail any questions to Stephanie Curtis at scurtis@aoicw.org.

Benefits of Mentoring Youth

“Show me a successful individual and I’ll show you someone who had real positive influences in his or her life. I don’t care what you do for a living — if you do it well I’m sure there was someone cheering you on or showing the way. A mentor.” — Denzel Washington

It’s no surprise that Children in foster care are among our nation’s most vulnerable young people. A healthy mentoring relationship can be critical to achieving both academic and personal goals. Mentors offer consistency, steadiness and support to children and youth who have experienced abusive or neglectful situations.  A mentor may be the only consistent relationship – the only semblance of family – a youth may ever have.  Mentoring can:

  • Increase high school graduation rates
  • Lower high school dropout rates
  • Increase Healthier relationships and lifestyle choices
  • Foster a positive attitude about school
  • Increase college enrollment rates and higher educational aspirations
  • Enhance self-esteem and self-confidence
  • Improve behavior, both at home and at school
  • Strengthen relationships with parents, foster parents, teachers, and peers
  • Improve interpersonal skills
  • Decrease the likelihood of initiating drug and alcohol use

If those aren’t reasons enough to consider mentoring, mentors also benefit from investing in others. Mentoring can help the mentor:

  • Aid someone realize their full potential- Everyone has unique talents and gifts. Celebrating individual talents helps to improve their own life, achieve their goals, and help others.
  • Give Back- Spend time investing in your community. Mentoring youth in your community is a powerful way to invest in the future.
  • Learn more about Themselves- Meaningful relationships are a two-way street. Mentors learn more about their personal strengths, weaknesses, knowledge, experience, and beliefs.
  • Change Lives- A mentor may be the only stable, positive impact in a youth’s life.

Interested in Being a Mentor for Youth in the YIT Program?

Mentors are responsible for guiding and advocating for the youth in areas such as independent living skills, conflict resolution, honesty and values, and problem solving. Mentors will connect youth with appropriate resources within the community such as tutoring, assertiveness vs. aggressiveness training, and physical/mental health services. Mentors will work with the Mentor Specialist to ensure that the youth’s needs are being met.

  • Application
  • Required Clearance Documents
  • List of other information required

Downloadable Program Information.

  • Mentor Brochure
  • Mentee Brochure

Services Offered by Our Agency

  1. Youth will set goals and work with a mentor in appropriate areas that may include, but are not limited to:
  • Independent living skills (budgeting, shopping, food preparation, laundry, home maintenance, etc.)
  • Conflict resolution
  • Self-advocacy
  • Effective communication
  • Positive thinking
  • Honesty and values
  • Problem solving
  • Tutoring
  • Stress management
  • Assertiveness vs. aggressiveness training
  • Substance abuse education
  • Health and mental health needs
  • Housing

2.  Youth and their mentors will participate in local Activities that align with the youth’s goals in the program.  This could include:

  • Community Cultural Events
  • Job/Career Fairs
  • College/University Campus Visits
  • Museum Trips
  • Meals
  • Health/Mental Health Wellness Events

3. Youth will be connected with appropriate community resources in the areas that may include, but are not limited to:

  • Tutoring
  • Stress management
  • Assertiveness vs. aggressiveness training
  • Substance abuse education
  • Health and mental health needs
  • Housing

Client Eligibility Criteria

Youth eligible for this contract are youth ages 14 to 21 and currently in foster care as result of an abuse or neglect court action and in an eligible placement, as well as youth aged 18 to 21 who have a closed foster care case and were eligible for YIT funding while the case was open.

Referral Process In the written referral DHHS shall identify:

a. Date of referral.

b. Name of each client to be provided service.

c. Address and contact information of the referred client(s).

d. Reasons for referral.

e. Referring worker’s emergency on call phone number.

Adoption Option Inc, Child Welfare Organization shall:

a. AOICWO shall accept or reject written referrals from DHHS within 24 hours.

b. AOICWO must contact the client within five calendar days of accepting a referral.

c. AOICWO must provide the client with a mentor match within 14 calendar days of accepting a referral.

For More Information have your DHHS worker Contact Stephanie Curtis:

Office Number: 989-839-0534

Email: SCurtis@aoicw.org

Click here for YIT Mentoring Services Flyer: YIT_MentoringServices

Click here for YIT Mentoring Services Referral Form: AOI YIT Referral Form

Services Offered by Our Agency

  1. Mentors will advocate for and guide the youth in appropriate areas that may include, but are not limited to:
  • Independent living skills (budgeting, shopping, food preparation, laundry, home maintenance, etc.)
  • Conflict resolution
  • Self-advocacy
  • Effective communication
  • Positive thinking
  • Honesty and values
  • Problem solving
  • Tutoring
  • Stress management
  • Assertiveness vs. aggressiveness training
  • Substance abuse education
  • Health and mental health needs
  • Housing

2.  Mentors and youth will participate in local Activities that align with the youth’s goals in the program.  This could include:

  • Community Cultural Events
  • Job/Career Fairs
  • College/University Campus Visits
  • Museum Trips
  • Meals
  • Health/Mental Health Wellness Events

3. Mentors will advocate for and guide the mentored youth in connecting with appropriate community resources in the areas that may include, but are not limited to:

  • Tutoring
  • Stress management
  • Assertiveness vs. aggressiveness training
  • Substance abuse education
  • Health and mental health needs
  • Housing

4. Mentors will be trained in:

  • Overview of foster care and juvenile justice systems
  • Positive youth development and related activities
  • Independent living preparation and goal setting
  • Mentor role and responsibility
  • Limit-setting and appropriate boundaries
  • Positive and productive relationships
  • Program requirements and expectations for mentor candidates
  • DHHS program initiatives for older youth
  • Understanding community resources available for youth.

6. A Mentor Supervisor is provided to ensure that mentoring services meet the youth’s needs.

7. The Mentor Supervisor will organize and coordinate mentor matches with youth referred for services to ensure they are compatible and share common interests.

8.  The Mentor Supervisor will keep a list of current community  resources that are free or of reduced cost.

ELIGIBILITY

Mentors must be 21 or older have a valid drivers license, commit to at least 12 months in the program, complete training requirements, and complete required background checks. 

For More Information on becoming a mentor Contact Melody Graves:

Office Number: 989-839-0534

Email: MGraves@aoicw.org

Click Here for YIT Mentor Recruitment Flyer: YIT_MentoringFlyer

Click Here for YIT Mentor Recruitment Flyer: YIT Mentor Application