NICOLE MALANE, the Mentor Program Supervisor for "Child Safe of Michigan", an affiliate of multi-county social service agency Judson Center, which provides foster care, adoption and mentoring services to neglected and abused children in Southeast Michigan, joined us to discuss ‘Mentoring works! Mentor a child and change a life', a program that is designed to attract adults of all ages to mentor youth in foster care. Child Safe Michigan’s mentoring program is the only community-based program of its kind in Michigan.
From Their Website - https://www.childsafemichigan.org
"Many of us can name a mentor – whether a teacher, coach or neighbor - who believed in us and helped us unlock our full potential.
At Child Safe Michigan, which operates the only mentoring program solely focused on foster youth in Michigan, we see every day the positive impact a mentor can have on a child.
Children in foster care are among the most at-risk populations. A staggering 75% of them have experienced trauma ranging from neglect to severe abuse by those closest to them. In fact, foster youth experience a higher rate of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder than American combat veterans, and many of them struggle with depression, anxiety, and self-doubt.
Children enter foster care through no fault of their own. Though they might have been removed from unsafe conditions, they are scared to find themselves placed with strangers (albeit well-meaning) in unfamiliar foster homes, and are insecure as to what the future holds.
Growing up is hard even in the best of circumstances. Children in foster care not only have to contend with common growing pains, but they have to deal with separation from their families and friends, attending new schools, residing in new homes, and, hardest of all, dealing with the abuse/neglect that led to their placement in foster care. They feel lost, alone, and unsure of who they can trust.
Mentors offer them a stable presence, someone who can be fully present with them, serve as a role model, and show them that they’re important. To have a dependable adult other than an authority figure solely focused on them and their well-being means so much to these children."