Community-Based Mentoring

Become a MentorEnroll a Child

How Do I Become a Mentor?

If you are interested in becoming a mentor, there are several steps that we will take to get you started.

The Community-Based Mentoring Program matches youth between the ages of 5 and 15 with a carefully screened adult. Mentors must be 18 or older and can mentor as individuals, couples or even as families. Matches meet together 3-4 times/month for a minimum of one year.

Application

Fill out the mentor application and return it to the Kinship office at: PO Box 68, Balsam Lake, WI,  54810.

Interview

A Kinship coordinator will be in touch to set up an in-home interview to learn more about your interests/hobbies/lifestyle, understand any and all match preferences, answer questions and explain additional details about the program.

References and Background Check

A Kinship coordinator will contact the (3) references listed on the application and complete a comprehensive background check.

Meet Your Match

Once your application has been reviewed and approved, Kinship will match you with a youth in close proximity who shares your interests.

Frequently Asked Questions

Allow us to answer some frequently asked questions for you.

How are mentors matched?

Matches are based on geography, shared interest, preference, and personalities so it is natural for the matches to do things they both enjoy.

Who can become a mentor?

Anyone over the age of 18 can apply to become a mentor. Kinship welcomes individuals, couples and families to become mentors for our youth. All mentors are screened and trained.

What do matches do together?

Matches are encouraged to participate in low to no-cost activities. Each match is unique as it reflects the personalities and interests of the mentor and youth. Matches often spend time at the mentor’s home- playing games, cooking dinner, crafting, shooting the bow and arrow, playing catch- or out in the community- fishing, attending a sporting event, running errands, and volunteering together. The options are open and endless.

Is Kinship a mandated program?

No. Kinship is a voluntary program. The youth and parent/guardian voluntarily request a mentor and are supportive of the relationship.

Does the child have a choice of mentor?

Parents, youth, and mentors have an opportunity to accept or decline the match suggested by the Kinship staff.

What is the time commitment like?

Youth and mentors are asked to commit to the program for a minimum of 1 year. Matches get together 3-4 times a month and have the option to attend Kinship sponsored group activities.

A year is a significant investment in a child’s life. That’s why it has such a great impact on all involved. Many of our matches continue on for more than the first year.

What is the onboarding process like?

Potential mentors begin the application process by filling out a written application. Once Kinship receives the application, staff collect reference forms, run local and state background checks, complete a driving record check and schedule an in-home interview.

Why Mentor?

Regular, long-term relationships with a variety of adults are critical to healthy child development.

Research shows that having a mentor present in a young person’s life for an average of 4 hours a month can decrease their chances of engaging in drug and alcohol use, as well as increase their education aspirations.

Research shows that having had a mentor is positively correlated with engaging in more positive activities for at-risk youth.

  • Improved Attendance & Performance

Leads to increased graduation rates, increased post-secondary education and overall education aspirations, which contributes to higher lifetime earnings.

  • Greater Self-esteem & Confidence

Linked to improved interpersonal skills which contributes to healthier relationships; higher self-esteem and more self confidence.

  • Behavior Improvements

Youth show improved behavior, both at home and school, and have stronger relationships with parents, teachers and peers.

  • Reduced Truancy

Results in reduced school costs and ultimately, reduced high school dropouts.

  • Improved Health Outcomes

Reduced teen pregnancy, reduced likelihood or delayed use of tobacco, alcohol, or other illicit drugs.

School Based Mentoring
Community Mentoring

Let's Have A Talk

Call: (715) 405-3900
Email: mentoring@polkkinship.org

Contact the Service Coordinator for your School District

Karalee Tollakson

Karalee Tollakson

Program Manager | Service Coordinator

Osceola, Dresser, St. Croix Falls, and Unity School Districts.

karalee.polkkinship@gmail.com

Amy Danielson

Amy Danielson

Service Coordinator

Amery, Clayton, and Clear Lake School Districts.

amy.polkkinship@gmail.com

Shara Anderson

Shara Anderson

Service Coordinator

Frederic and Luck School Districts.

shara.polkkinship@gmail.com

Contact the Kinship Office

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