Why do you focus on serving children with incarcerated parents?
Parental incarceration is recognized as an Adverse Childhood Experience, or ACE, by public health experts. Studies show that childhood trauma and stress caused by Adverse Childhood Experiences can lead to negative physical and mental health outcomes. Despite the fact that over 5 million children in the US have experienced parental incarceration – including approximately 8000 children in Central Texas alone – very few organizations or services explicitly support youth facing these specific challenges. We aim to help fill that gap.
What will the child’s family know about me?
Very little. Only your name and anything you choose to share with your mentee.
Will I meet the child’s parent or caregiver?
The majority of our mentors do not meet caregivers since our program is school based, though there is a small possibility that you could cross paths at school.
Can I choose the child or the school where I mentor?
Seedling makes mentoring matches based on research-proven best practices, but we do our best to accommodate preferences when possible.
What if my mentee changes schools after I start?
If this occurs, you have several options and Seedling will support you in determining the best choice for you and your mentee.
Can we meet at another time besides lunch?
Lunch time is the best time to meet as it not only provides consistency, but it also provides the opportunity for this nurturing relationship to happen without interrupting instruction time. Research shows that mentoring programs that pull students from their classes can sometimes negatively impact academic performance.
What if I need help?
A Seedling mentor is a friend, and asource of support and encouragement – no previous experience required! Every Seedling mentor is assigned a Mentor Director to support you throughout the duration of your mentoring match. Mentor Directors are available to answer any questions you may have and have a wealth of knowledge in youth development. Additionally, Seedling provides monthly trainings and newsletters full of helpful information.
I may know other people who would like to mentor. How do I spread the word?
One of the biggest things you can do to help Seedling is let people know about our program! We are always happy to do presentations to businesses, organizations, or other community groups who would like to get involved. We also have promotional materials, both digital and print, that we can share. If you’d like to learn more about this or have other ideas on how to collaborate to reach more people, please contact us at email@example.com.