A brief about Mentor Mothers/Fathers at Udayan Ghars:
All children have the potential to succeed in life and contribute to society. However, not all children get the support they need to thrive. If we reflect on our own youth, we may remember someone from our own life who served as a mentor, someone we could trust and turn to for support and encouragement, someone who made us feel special. Mentoring is the presence of caring individuals who provide young people with support, advice, friendship, reinforcement and constructive examples. Mentoring can and does help young people succeed, no matter what their circumstances! Same applies in the case of Udayan Care, our 35 Mentor Mothers/Fathers at Udayan Care, whom we proudly call; “Ladies/Gentleman of Vision” over the years have committed themselves for bringing smiles on the faces of young children at Udayan Care, voluntarily.
Mentor Mothers and Fathers (Mentor Parents) create the strong foundation of Udayan Ghars. A novel parenting concept developed by Udayan Care, Mentor Parents are ordinary individuals with extraordinary sensitivity, who voluntarily commit themselves for life to groom the children just like their own. Sharing the joys and pains of growing up, Mentor Parents bring children a sense of continuity and stability, forming strong family bonds; and become stable, secure attachment figures. They become models of responsible behaviour and generate a sense of belonging and responsibility in the children in a loving environment. Each home of 12 children has been mandated to have 2-3 such parent figures, who become children’s real life support system.
Mentor parents, though not live-in, are like real parents to the children of the home, they adopt for life (long-term). They are, in a way 24 x7 life-time volunteers, always available as per need, besides their minimum, regular, twice a week routine, meeting children in person, visiting and supervising the home and staff. They respond to the children's emotional and intellectual needs to promote the development of secure attachments and stability for the children living in a home. Mentors can fill any number of different roles, like that of the role of a parent, guardian, teacher, friend, a confidant, yet they do not act as a disciplinarian or decision-maker for our children. Instead, they believe in facilitating children to do their own thinking and carve their own future.
Mentor parents play a critical role in ensuring that the home creates an atmosphere of family life. Mentors parents work closely with Home Coordinators to support the caregivers and supervisors. Mentor parents look after children’s educational, recreational and moral needs and help the children develop an ethical outlook and motivation for expanding and reaching their true potential and echoing the positive values and cultural heritage. All Mentor Mothers/Fathers at Udayan Care have one thing in common; they care about helping children achieve their potential and discover their strengths.
For the past so many years, our Mentor Mothers/Fathers have been continuously helping children in every facet of life, be it facing daily obstacles, staying motivated and focused in pursuing their education, planning a project for school, setting career goals and taking steps to realize them, making healthy choices about day-to-day life, thinking through problems at home or school and developing career, knowledge and economic skills. By sharing fun activities and exposing our children and youth to new experiences, our Mentor Mothers/Fathers encourage positive choices, promote high self-esteem, support academic achievement and introduce them to new ideas.
Mentor parents continue to mentor the children even when they age out of the home, as young people, and help them make a success of their lives.
- Impart services in a completely voluntary manner
- Develop trusting relationships with the children and young people and respond to their emotional, developmental and intellectual needs
- Support other mentors, caregivers, supervisors and Home Coordinator to provide good quality care and ensure smooth operation of their concerned Ghar
- Supervise and monitor school and academic and vocational training activities, including attending school Parent- Teacher Association meetings.
- Support the Coordinator and Ghar team in effective documentation and legal compliances as and where needed
- Efficiently manage/supervise the finances of the home
- Support mental Health Team
- Support volunteers, who come for specific voluntary assignments even bring such interested people
- Bring linkages and support from external world and help find opportunities for the children and young people to suit their various requirements, aptitudes and interests
Report to Managing Trustee (informal reporting)
Subordinate staff Home Coordinator, Supervisor, Caregivers of their Home
Internal Contacts Entire Care team, headed by COO, Programme Manager, etc.
External Contacts Mentor Parents and Home Coordinators of other Homes, other departments at office
Criteria for Selection
- Mentors are expected to provide services to the children in a completely voluntary capacity. Those who can make themselves available to the children and give quality time to them are preferred.
- It is essential for a Mentor to be well educated and hail from a good background so that s/he can be a role model for Udayan children and the children can imbibe good values from them.
- It is essential for every Home consisting of 12 children to have at least 1 Mentor. However, the benefits of having more than 1 Mentor Parents are that not only there is greater division of labour and responsibilities, but the children are also able to access richer diversity of experience and temperament.
Though Udayan Care does not have any age cap for the Mentors, the ideal age of a new Mentor should be between 35- 50 years. Efforts should be made by the Mentors to look within their own circle of friends/ contacts, for filling in vacancies, as well as for succession planning.