freshperspective is a service of the Open Home Foundation developing a network of parent mentors through partnerships with local Christian churches throughout New Zealand. Mentoring is voluntary and free and aims to help parents and caregivers recognise their strengths and abilities, connect them with supports in their communities and bring a fresh perspective to life

What does a parent mentor do?

A freshperspective family mentor is a volunteer. They will have completed an application process (including background checks and references) and training. They receive supervision and support from their local freshperspective church supervisor.

The service is about supporting parents and caregivers who have asked for help. Mentors take time to listen, and to encourage. Spending an hour or 2 a week, Mentors walk alongside the parent/s together setting the direction and purpose for the mentoring journey. Mentors meet regularly with their church supervisor/s for the duration of the time that they are mentoring.

Mentors are not social workers or trained counsellors. They are great motivators, sharing from their own parenting and life experience, walking alongside another parent/s doing the 'stuff of life' together for a while.

How do parents go about getting a mentor?

Parents who would like a mentor can refer themselves or some one can make a referral on their behalf e.g. Doctor, social worker, school, church. Parents can contact freshperspective through our website or by ringing our 0800 555 300 number. If mentoring sounds like its going to be helpful for the parent, the referral is passed on to a nearby mentor supervisor who then indentifies the most suitable mentor available. After a compatibility conversation with the parent/s the supervisor personally introduces them.

Supervisors work with the supervision and support of their freshperspective Regional Service Coordinator, freshperspective help desk, and a local personal supervisor. The safety of all is really important. If safety issues arise, these will be discussed with the appropriate people or agencies.

Mentoring usually comes to an end by mutual agreement once the purposes of the journey are achieved, however parent(s) or caregiver(s) can withdraw from having a mentor at any time. The direction of the journey can sometimes evolve and change and therefore there is no set limit around how long mentoring continues, provided it remains purposeful.

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