Monday, September 29, 2014

Beyond Background Checks

Cheri Faunce & Nicolette Loutsch
Last week, Kansas hosted its 2014 Kansas Conference on Service & Volunteerism in Wichita. First, the content was invaluable, and the organization, professional and hospitable. We would recommend this conference to Oklahomans. Congratulations to Cheri Faunce, director of Kansas Mentors, Nicolette Loutsch, executive director of the Kansas Volunteer Commission, and others who made this such a powerful and pleasant event.

Whitney Mastin
This is an excerpt from "SAFE: Prioritizing Youth Safety with Research Based Mentor Screening Practices," developed by Friends for Youth. Whitney Mastin, a certified SAFE trainer, presented a three-hour version of the SAFE mentor screening program, a six-hour course. Mastin is also director of operations at Midlands Mentoring Partnership in Omaha, Nebraska. Future posts will have more information, but this is a critical checklist. That a potential mentor may be well-known in the community or that you have a school-based program is irrelevant.
Do you have the following? If not, why?
  • Staff training and supervision
  • Applicant database
  • Written eligibility criteria/policy
  • Mentee and parent training
  • Mentor position statement
  • Commitment statement
  • Orientation/info session
  • Written application
  • In-person interview
  • Home visit
  • Criminal history - state
  • Criminal history - federal
  • Sex offender registries check
  • Child abuse registry check
  • Driving record
  • Internet/social media searches
  • Character references (at least 3)
  • Psychological tests
  • Pre-match mentor training
  • Final decision
  • Ongoing mentor check-ins
  • Ongoing mentee check-ins
  • Ongoing parent check-ins

More excellent resources can be found at the Friends for Youth website.

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