Many young people who are in Out of Home Care feel like they do not belong – they feel alienated because of skin colour and lack of involvement within the Aboriginal community. Mentoring is designed to proactively engage our kids to encourage a sense of belonging and connection to culture and the environment.
The Mentoring Program set up by SCMSAC is designed to provide a stable positive role model for our children in Out of Home Care experiencing stress, anxiety or disruption in the home and school environment. The program also allows children to regain trust and provide some of the tools required to sustain a harmonious balance in life, instilling and maintaining positive strategies to enable children to deal with various behavioural issues. All activities are based on the child’s likes and dislikes and achieving an overall end result.
Utilising a holistic approach to address issues our kids experience in the care system has reaped many positive outcomes.
Mentoring includes various activities such as:
• Animal assisted therapy at a farm
• Bait gathering
• Ball games
• Art and culture relaxation
• Breathing techniques
Our main mentor is currently Shawn Old who has received positive feedback on his work this year from both internal and external carers and caseworkers. The feedback received indicates that children have made a turn around with their attitude, school and home life and feel comfortable and proud to be Aboriginal, despite past feelings. Shawn has developed a relationship with the children in which they feel comfortable talking and confiding in him and regularly request extra time for their mentoring sessions.
Shawn has a great passion for his role and collects raw materials from the beach and bush for arts and crafts. Shawn spends many hours at home preparing craft activities to bring along to his mentoring sessions and is a great asset to our team!