What is mentoring?

Mentors serve as role models by instilling values such as honesty, respect, trust, and responsibility. It’s about being friends, sharing common interests, and encountering new experiences. At Kinship Partners, the mentor and child normally spend 2 to 3 hours a week together and commit to a one-year relationship. Often the match will continue beyond that first year.

Why would a child need a mentor?
All kids need many positive caring adults in their life. With families being spread out geographically, and many families separated for a variety of reasons, access to adults may be limited. Some children simply need extra attention or a boost in their self-esteem. Some need more opportunities to experience positive leisure activities. Some may need a little help with their social skills.

What about me – the parent?
The mentor is not there to replace the parent’s authority or role. He or she is there to be another special adult in the life of your child. Studies have shown that many parents experience an improved relationship with their child because they were given a mentor.

Where do mentors come from?
Mentors are caring adults in your community who truly like children. Kinship Partners staff often speak with churches and civic groups, encouraging adults to consider being mentors. The mentor application process is thorough – providing three references, a criminal background check, and an extensive interview prior to being matched.

Do I have a say in which mentor my child is matched with?
The parent always has the final approval. You know your child best. We encourage your input and frank discussion during the match process.

How do I apply to get a mentor for my child?
Download the applications above, or contact your local Kinship Partners office. Upon completion, we will set up a time to interview you and your child so we have an opportunity to get to know you. This will enable us to choose the kind of person you’d like as a mentor for your child.

Please print forms and mail them to:

Kinship Partners
PO Box 642
Brainerd, MN 56401