Youth Mentoring

About
Youth mentoring is for young people who have been identified as engaging in aggressive and anti-social behaviour, at risk of offending and re-offending, gang involvement, engaging in risky behaviours such as substance misuse, chronically disengaged from school, college or in a Pupil Referral Unit (PRUs). Our mentors and tutors have an excellent track record of working with the most hard to engage young people and finding ways to challenge and motivate while improving relationships with key influencers in their lives.

Aim
The primary goal of the program is to support the development of healthy young people by addressing their need for positive adult contact, thereby reducing risk factors for negative behaviour and enhancing protective factors for positive behaviour. To educate young people on the dangers of knife and gang related crime, equip them with the skills to make positive decisions and fulfil their potential.

Approach
Our inclusive approach allows us to work with young people regardless of what stage they are at, by identifying key areas all young people are able to work towards their own realistic targets. The needs of the young person determine the focus of the mentoring. For a young person at risk of offending, or who has offended, it is a vital support.

Program Theory
Our youth mentoring is loosely based on the theory of social control, where attachments to prosocial, supportive adults, a commitment to appropriate goals, and a mutually trusting relationship between the mentor and mentee can allow a young person to begin to feel more socially accepted and supported. The increased level of support from adults allows young people to view themselves in a more positive light and engage in more constructive behaviour. Young people who are more socially bonded have got less risk of running into trouble.

Time
The program requires mentor and mentee commit to meeting up on a weekly basis with each meeting lasting approximately between 1-6 hours per day for up to three or more sessions per week, all depending on the needs of the mentee. To ensure the best possible outcome for the young person in the program, we require mentors and mentee to make a minimum commitment of at least one year.

Sessions
Sessions may take place in a variety of locations in the community such as libraries, schools, colleges, Star SEND, or other appropriate setting as demanded by their parents/guardians. Through regular sessions, our mentors provide the tools and skills necessary for the individuals to take responsibility for their own actions and make good choices in life. Our mentors will also work on managing challenging behaviour, understanding the family situation and other influences on the young person whilst considering interventions to change this. The mentors bring life experience, skills and a wholehearted belief in the capacity of young people to change.


Referrals
Young people that meet the criteria are referred to Star Ascend by Special Schools, SEN departments, Pupil Referral Units (PRUs), Alternative Provisions and SEN provisions within mainstream schools, and other agencies that work with young people families.

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