PALS Senior Partner
A Windsor County Partners’ (WCP) Senior Partner meets with his/her matched Junior Partner for approximately two hours per week, usually one-on-one, for an initial commitment of a consecutive twelve-month period which may be renewed annually thereafter. Research shows that mentoring partnerships lasting six months or less can actually be more harmful than helpful to youth in need of a reliable friendship.
A Senior Partner demonstrates positive, healthy life choices in a caring, respectful manner. A Senior Partner engages his/her Junior Partner through safe, legal and fun activities aimed at opening the Junior Partner’s eyes to new experiences. A Senior Partner is also expected to maintain consistent contact with his/her Junior Partner in an effort to build trust and stability.
WCP strongly encourages all Senior Partners to maintain close contact with its staff about any challenges, questions or other issues regarding mentoring in general or their Partnership specifically.
Senior Partner’s Commitments
- A promise to be consistent, to follow through as a caring friend, and to make weekly time available for match visits.
- A promise to be flexible, to bend to fit changing situations with patience and understanding.
- A promise to listen closely to the words of your Junior Partner while creating a safe place for sharing in your time together.
- A promise to respect your Junior Partner while helping him/her explore his/her own beliefs even if they are different from your own.
- A promise to be clear and direct when presenting choices and to include your Partner in the shared privilege and responsibility of making decisions.
- A promise to be accountable for all your own actions, to be proud of your accomplishments, and, when necessary, to admit your mistakes.
- A promise to praise and encourage your Junior Partner while you help him/her set his/her goals.
- A promise to help your Junior Partner feel safe and secure when he/she is with you.
- A promise to ask for help when you need it
II. Respect of Confidentiality
All information given to you by WCP regarding your Junior Partner and his/her family is confidential and should not be shared with others. It is important to be respectful of your Junior Partner’s privacy and to establish a trusting Partnership.
Junior Partners are encouraged to share information freely with their Senior Partners. However, if a Junior Partner tells you of any current situation that jeopardizes his/her safety, you must notify the Program Coordinator at once.
III. Non-Discrimination Policy
With the exception of a geographically defined service area and minimum age requirements, WCP’s mentoring program strictly adheres to its non-discrimination policy. The organization does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, age, gender, sexual orientation, national origin, physical disability, or veteran status. Rather, the organization welcomes all staff, Board, other volunteer, and youth referral applications and seeks to create matches that harmonize the backgrounds and interests of our Senior and Junior Partners.
Senior Partner volunteers must have a desire to spend fun-filled and care-free time with children in need of a special friend and must be fully committed to the needs of his/her Junior Partner and youth mentoring in general. In addition, the following, additional items are required in order for our program to create and sustain lasting relationships:
- All Senior Partners must be 18 years of age or older.
- Interested volunteers must complete the entire application process which includes the written application; three references; an in-home interview; and state, Department of Motor Vehicles, National Sex Offender and FBI criminal background checks, including finger printing.
- Senior Partners must be available to meet for approximately two hours per week, or 6-8 hours per month, with his/her Junior Partner for an initial commitment of one year. If you are unable to meet weekly, you both must be in touch via phone, mail or email. Consistent contact is essential.
- Senior Partners must have the ability to drive or otherwise arrange to pick up and drop off his/her Junior Partner from his/her home each week. If you drive, you must have a valid driver’s license and auto insurance that meets the state’s minimum requirements. Seatbelts must be worn at all times per the Vermont State Seat Belt law. You must submit a copy of your driver’s license and insurance card on a yearly basis.
- Senior Partners must at all times exemplify positive, healthy lifestyles to their Junior Partners.