Parent mentoring is essential, but few realize why it’s so important or what it entails. For parents who have lost custody, this type of program is critical. Being separated from a child is extremely distressing, and most parents want to do all they can to regain that relationship.
Participants of parent mentoring programs typically receive referrals from the Office of the Public Defender or the Department of Health and Human Services. In Maryland, the MD Administration of Courts funds the program. While it is voluntary, parent mentoring offers the chance for individuals to reunite with children, help a child in need and build the skills needed to be a supportive parent.
Reasons Parent Mentoring is Essential
It Reunites Children with Parents
One primary goal of parent mentoring is to reunite children with their parents. However, the court system needs to be sure that this is in the child’s best interest. Parents are separated from their children for a variety of reasons. These can include neglect, physical or emotional abuse, jail time, alcohol or drug addiction, or a violation of a court order. No matter the exact situation, parents must be willing to build the skills they need to reunite with their families. They may need to show proof of their rehabilitation as well as housing, employment and transportation. If their mentorship program is a success, parents may have the chance to reconnect with their children and start anew. Ultimately, the court system will decide.
It Provides Parents Access to Employment Opportunities and Education Programs
Let’s say that Bill has just been released from jail. His two children have been placed in foster care. Upon reintegrating back into society, he wants to gain custody of his children once more. However, he’ll need steady income, stable housing and a vehicle. Perhaps he suffered from depression and anxiety during his time in prison and he needs mental health care. Bill may also need access to higher education in order to get a job that offers an adequate living wage. With a parent mentoring, all these things are possible. Parent mentors offer guidance, skill-building opportunities and contact with care providers like therapists.
It Helps Parents Gain Key Life Skills
Supporting a child requires strong social, competency and relationship skills. Some parents need additional support to grow and develop these skills, and that’s perfectly normal. Furthermore, parents who show interest in mentoring programs display initiative by reaching out for assistance. In some cases, asking for help is the first step towards a positive parent-child relationship. Mentors are trained to help parents navigate the process and work towards a better future for their families. With the right tools and guidance, parents can attain the tools they need to thrive.
Partner with Lead4Life, Inc. Today to Learn More about Parent Mentoring
At Lead4Life, we strive to empower every participant in our programs so that they may find their purpose, achieve their goals, and become poised, productive members of their community. We advocate for those in need and assist each and every individual by providing compassionate education and valuable resources like mental health tips so that they can make the very best decisions and develop important life, social, and competency skills. Visit our website for more information about our Parent Mentoring Initiative program or contact us at 240-499-8949.