Program Description

Program Design

AdoptMent is a site based mentoring program that operates 10 months out of the year (Sept – June) and convenes twice a month as a group with mentors and mentees. These sessions are held at New Alternatives for Children, a partner foster care agency which provides a site coordinator to help facilitate the program.

AdoptMent works with young people ages 14-21 and who are: 1) adopted or 2) on the path towards adoption. The program operates from Sept – June and convenes every other week as a group with mentors and mentees. These sessions are held at a partner foster care agency. Mentors and mentees are encouraged to also meet outside of these times whenever possible or necessary and are often provided with fun community based activities to participate in.

AdoptMent runs as a small group with 6-10 mentee/mentor matches. The program requires regular attendance from its mentors and mentees as well as a commitment of at least one year (ideally 2 years or more). In the past, most mentors have remained in the program for 3 or more years. A mentee may stay with the program for up to 3 years depending on his/her circumstances. It is best if mentors can remain in the program with the mentee and continue a long-lasting relationship with the young person even after he/she transitions out of the program. This unconditional relationship is a valuable asset to the youth as they move towards adulthood.

Program Sessions:

The program sessions consist of both group activities and one-on-one time for the mentors and mentees. The activities are aimed at tying in themes of adoption and offer discussion points that can be used in the one-on-one time and help to promote healthy life choices, literacy, and better social and relationship-building skills.

Program Curriculum:

While the program does have a set curriculum, it remains flexible and responsive to the needs of the youth participants. Topics covered in the curriculum include: feelings and experiences with adoption and foster care, personal and family identity, youth development, personal values, relationship building, community and connectivity, transitioning, independence, skill-building, future planning and goal setting.

Matching Process:

Mentee-mentor matches are made at the discretion of the FCFC Program Specialist and/or NAC site coordinator. Matches are based on the information provided by mentees and mentors about their interests, personality, and needs. Mentees and mentors meet for the first time at the first session they attend.

Program Duration:

Mentors and mentees commit to the program for at least 1 year and usually end up staying significantly longer. If a mentor or mentee leaves prematurely, the person remaining in the program is re-matched with someone from the waitlist. Generally, mentoring matches, long-standing or new, have been successful and many have developed into meaningful relationships that contribute positively to the lives of our youth.