How intandem is building trusted mentoring relationships
This week is an important one for us here at intandem. Not only is it Care Experienced Week, which looks to celebrate the care experience community, but it is also National Mentoring Day today (Friday 27 October) and we have lots of mentors and mentees to celebrate!
Scotland made a promise children and young people with care experience, that they will grow up loved, safe and respected so they can realise their full potential. Providing trusted relationships and building confidence are an essential part of keeping this promise.
intandem is all about building trusted relationships – with children and young people, with their families, with volunteers and with other professionals. These trusted relationships give young people and their families somewhere to turn when they need support.
As a programme delivering mentoring for children and young people who are in the care of their local authority, or at risk of becoming so, and living either at home or in kinship care, intandem involves much more than mentoring. It is part of the scaffolding of support needed for a young person and their family to overcome difficulties.
I am constantly amazed and frequently inspired by the dedication and compassion of our intandem coordinators and volunteer mentors who continually strive to do the best for young people and their families. Whether it’s making time to listen and offer emotional support or helping families to access specific services, they make a big difference to the lives of young people and their families.
“Having a mentor has made me a lot happier…I was really struggling, mentally, physically…but when I got my mentor, she brightens stuff up…it feels like she genuinely takes some of the stress off my shoulders.” Young person
intandem keeps learning
Established in 2016, intandem is managed by Inspiring Scotland and delivered by partner charities across 19 local authorities. The landscape has changed a lot over this time, and I have learnt just how important it is to listen to and learn from children and families.
Since intandem began, mentoring the programme we’ve made several changes to help us keep the promise:
- We widened the eligibility criteria for children and young people mentored to remove barriers to support. Young people in kinship care and those at risk of becoming looked after can now access intandem.
- Recognising the trusted relationships between coordinators, young people and families, intandem now involves much more than mentoring, it’s part of the scaffolding of support around families enabling them to overcome difficulties.
- Participation is a crucial part of keeping the promise and it has become essential at intandem with our dynamic youth forum becoming a key element of our programme.
Weekly community-based mentoring has powerful results, changing the trajectory of children and young people’s lives. Here are some of my favourite quotes that really encapsulate the difference intandem makes:
“It’s impacted my life choices a lot.” Young person
“He told me he’d learnt to trust again, which was nice to hear.” Mentor
“She’s made me realise that not every person is there to hurt me.” Young person
All families need support from others at times, and I’m privileged to be part of intandem providing that much needed support.
To find out more about intandem and our local partners, check out our map of your nearest intandem here.
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