Six community members completed a family mentoring training program, which Allan Morphett facilitated. Nine began the training in September and six finished this month.
The Rotary Club of Idyllwild paid for all training materials. The non-profit organization Family Promise (www.familypromise.org) developed the training course which is designed to train mentors to assist economically vulnerable families. Mentors work with families one-on-one to meet goals which the family members select for themselves. These include helping them to develop life skills, connect with community resources, improve their housing and employment situations and to help them find ways to better support and nurture their children.
The idea for the training grew out of community meetings held to consider a spate of anti-Semitic hate crimes that occurred in 2010. Out of those meetings two groups formed: one for family mentoring and the other to produce and offer a free film series to the community dealing with issues of diversity.
As part of the training, mentors are instructed to develop trusting relationships with their mentees, and to do so in an atmosphere of respect and non-judgment for their mentees and the difficulties they face. Mentors try to help families overcome challenges and disappointments exacerbated by the current economic downturn, and to celebrate successes.
Mentoring Director and key organizer Morphett will offer a presentation to the Rotary Club in January and subsequently to other service groups and churches in the community in order to familiarize these groups with the program and the availability of trained mentors. Service groups, churches, camps and other organizations who are aware of community members who might need assistance, can provide referrals to Morphett and his group. Mentors serve voluntarily without compensation and generally have backgrounds that help equip them to counsel. All either are or will be Live Scanned prior to service.
Specifically, mentors are trained to offer practical and emotional support by helping mentees recognize and appreciate the family’s or individual’s unique strengths; define and set goals and action steps; encourage family members or individuals to take action toward their goals; review progress regularly; provide a link to the larger community by identifying and locating community resources and to celebrate each achievement along the way. Mentors are expected to stay with the process with their mentees for at minimum a year. Anyone interested in more information about the program can contact Morphett at [email protected] or by phone at (951) 659-8236.
Those who completed the first training are Wally Boer, Trischa Clark, Tim Price, Sallie Price, Reba Coulter and Marshall Smith.