Community Connections Mentoring connects young people who are living in or have lived in out-of-home care with a volunteer mentor from the community. Through lasting, positive and encouraging relationships with community mentors, young people are supported through their transition to independence.
How does the program work?
Young people are strong and resilient, but face significant and at times overwhelming barriers in transitioning from out-of-home care. The Community Connections Mentoring program works together with young people to build independence and increase opportunities for community connection.
Strong, positive and lasting relationships in the community enable young people to build the skills and connections they need to move into sustainable and connected independence, where they can exercise their agency and lead fulfilling, independent lives.
How does the program help?
Young people in care are matched with carefully trained and selected community mentors, who commit to the program for a minimum of 12 months.
Mentors provide guidance, support and encouragement to young people, to explore and work towards their aspirations and goals. That support is tailored to each young person’s own circumstances and ambitions, and could include:
- Accessing opportunities for education, training and work
- Creating connections within their community
- Building personal, social and emotional capabilities
- Reaching health and wellbeing goals.
Who can participate?
To participate in Community Connections Mentoring, young people must be eligible for the Victorian Government’s Better Futures initiative, including:
- Being aged between 15 years and 9 months and 20 years of age, and
- Being currently or previously on either a Family Reunification Order, Care by Secretary Order or a Long-term Care Order.
Community members are welcome to express their interest in volunteering as mentors with the program. Please contact Jesuit Social Services’ Mentoring Project Officer on 0408 566 122 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Where is the program offered?
Community Connections Mentoring is a state-wide initiative in Victoria. Jesuit Social Services delivers the program across southern Melbourne and in the Bayside Peninsula area.
How does someone make a referral?
Young people can be referred to Community Connections Mentoring by their Better Futures worker, or by contacting Jesuit Social Services directly on 0408 566 122 or at email@example.com.