Family Mentoring

How Family Mentoring Works

What a Mentor Does

A mentor is trained to offer both practical and emotional support by helping to: 

  • recognize and appreciate the family's unique strengths 
  • define and set goals and action steps 
  • encourage family members to take action toward their goals 
  • review progress regularly 
  • provide a link to the larger community by identifying and locating community resources celebrate each achievement along the way 

Selecting Mentors

Mentors are chosen from volunteer candidates who apply for the program. 
They supply complete background information. 
Volunteers are thoroughly interviewed and screened, including reference checks. 
They complete twelve hours of training and participate in support sessions during their service as mentors.

How Families Begin Mentoring

Participation in the mentoring program is always voluntary. 

It is an adult-to-adult relationship of mutual respect that starts when the Network of Churches or other human services organization refers a family to a local mentoring program. The mentoring director determines the appropriateness of mentoring for the family, based on conversations with the family.

Making a Match

The mentoring director matches families and mentors and assures they understand and commit to program purpose and policies. 

The family and mentor agree to meet weekly for approximately 6 months to focus on defining goals and steps to achieve them.

The paths that matches take vary widely, based on the goals pursued by each family. The program director monitors and supports each partnership during the entire match. Matches are formally closed at an appropriate time, but often relationships continue informally. 

What People Are Saying

Family Promise mentors have helped families with education needs, financial challenges, employment goals, transportation, household management, parenting issues, health concerns and communication improvement.

Families . . ."My mentor helped me see I really was making progress! She didn't give up on me when I wanted to give up on myself.

"I didn't think I could pass the job certification test but my mentor insists I can do it and helps me study. I'm now almost there!"

"It was painful to face my financial situation, but together we worked through it. Now I have a plan to work out of this hole and the future looks brighter."

Mentors . . ."I thought this would just be giving to others-I didn't realize how much I would be getting."

"I've worked with several families. I used to think I had the answers about what goals should be.I've learned that to make progress, people have to be working on what matters to them."

"My own kids tell me I'm a better listener since becoming a mentor."


For more information on how you can be a mentor for a mother, father or child, contact         Elpidia Paniagua at