Nancy Helgeson

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  • signed up on Braid Mission San Diego 2017-06-21 12:12:41 -0700

    Braid Mission San Diego: Team Based Foster Youth Mentoring

    The foster youth experience begins with trauma: a young person’s placement in the foster system begins with the traumatic experience of being removed from their home and placed in an unfamiliar environment, far from everything familiar that formed their sense of self. Many youth move through multiple placements, and every change can trigger a cycle of trauma.

    Braid mentors work in teams to surround foster youth with a community of love, care, and hope, setting them on a path toward healing from the wounds of foster care. By being a listening ear, a consistent presence, and a safe space, you help restore a sense of self in foster youth by reminding them of their inner strength, beauty, and dignity.

    Working in teams ensures that each Braid youth has caring adults who are consistently present in his or her life, even when you are out of town or unexpected scheduling conflicts occur. Braid’s team setup gives you freedom to decide how and when your team can commit to spending time with your youth each week. Your teammates are your support system as you venture together into the transformative work of mentoring.

    BECOMING A BRAID MENTOR IS A FOUR-STEP PROCESS:

    First, fill out the online communication form and include in your comments that you are interested in becoming a foster youth mentor on the San Diego County volunteer website by clicking here. They will send you all of the application and screening materials necessary, as well as training dates.  Make sure to select "Foster Youth Mentor" from their list of volunteer options that they will send you.

    Second, attend the next county training class. The trainings are held at the San Diego County Family Resource Building (7947 Mission Center Court, San Diego, CA, 92108). If you are interested in attending the next San Diego County Foster Youth Mentor Training RSVP by clicking here.  Don't worry if you are unable to attend the next one on the calendar since there is a county training every two months, but it is best to go sooner than later. Also, remember that you don't need to have any of the other parts of the process finished before attending the training. It is open to everyone. 

    Third, attend a supplementary training at St. Luke's that will be focused specifically on the Braid Mission model.

    Fourth, make sure you have completed the background check, medical screening and 6-hour training course through the county. After those are completed you will work with a case worker who will interview you and match you with a foster youth. Then the life-giving work of mentoring begins, as you coordinate with your fellow mentors to find time weekly to meet with your foster youth mentee and work regularly with your group facilitator to find times to meet and reflect together on this life changing process.

    Braid Mission is a ministry of the Episcopal Church and first began in San Francisco in 2014.

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