AnglicareSA is changing the lives of children and young people in care through a community program that needs support from more South Australians.
The AnglicareSA Mentoring Program matches community service mentors with children and young people in out-of-home care to reduce the risk of disengaging from education and community supports.
AnglicareSA currently has 13 mentors involved in the program, but more are needed this year to meet the increasing number of children and young people entering care.
Among AnglicareSA’s mentors is Luke*, who has been supporting teenage soccer fan Robbie** through the program for the past nine months. The pair have spent their weekly catch ups cooking, go-karting, playing sports and attending the gym.
Luke said becoming a mentor and witnessing Robbie’s growth in confidence and development had been “transformational” and the “best thing” he’d ever done.
“Seeing the person he is now, from when I first met Robbie, gives me a lot of pride and joy.”
Judi Kammerman, AnglicareSA Senior Manager Operations, Family and Youth Services, said more mentors like Luke were needed.
Ms Kammerman said the mentor role involved spending three hours a week with a child or young person, creating activity plans, and organising and facilitating activity sessions.
“It’s a once-a-week commitment that can change the lives of some of the state’s most vulnerable children and young people by supporting them to thrive and reach their personal goals,” she said.
The AnglicareSA Mentoring Program is run with the support of the Department for Education and the Department for Child Protection across metropolitan Adelaide and surrounding areas, including the Barossa Valley and Victor Harbor.
Community service mentors are paid for their time and undergo a screening and recruitment process, including a Working With Children Check and National Police Check, in order to work with children and young people.
*Surname not provided for privacy reasons.
**Real name not used for privacy reasons.