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"Invaluable in helping children build a trusting relationship with a positive role model."

Evidence   |   February 26th, 2020

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We often get letters from our referrers which remind us why we do what we do. So we thought we'd share them with you too. Here's one -

"We have been making referrals to Upside (previously Brothers In Arms) for at least the last three years.

I have found the mentors to be a vital addition to the work undertaken with the families referred to us. There are many reasons that the young people need a mentor. More often than not, the children we work with are on the cusp of care proceedings, or already come with an extensive history.

They have all experienced varying degrees of trauma and will often have experienced chronic neglect or abuse at the hands of those who are meant to be caring for them. Some of our referrals have had a background of sexual abuse, family violence and drug or alcohol abuse within the immediate family. We make referrals to Upside within the context of a wider plan when working with a family.

The mentor role has been invaluable in helping children build a trusting relationship with a positive role model. Often, the mentor's visits are the highlights of a young person's week and are looked on enviously by other siblings so we try to seek mentor matches as other siblings hit the age criteria.

For larger sibling groups, the time with a mentor is very special as it is one-to-one time away from a busy home life where they get to be the focus of attention for a short period each week. For example, with one family, we have three mentors working with individual children and their roles have been vital in helping keep a whānau placement functioning well both for what the children get out of their time but also the respite given to the caregivers."