Enlisting our help with a child or young person
We always knew that our rate of referrals would increase as COVID restrictions lifted and professionals began to unpick what life has been like for the children and young people of Somerset over the last 14 months, feelings of isolation, anxiety, peer pressure and education worries have all been exacerbated. PROMISEworks are committed to meeting the challenge through proactive fundraising and a continual stream of mentor training courses.
We need you as referrers to do your bit in helping us ensure we are working with the right children by considering the following before making a referral;
1) PROMISEworks is a scheme based on attachment theory and aimed at working with those who have suffered complex early life difficulties - is this the case for the young person you wish to refer?
2) PROMISEworks mentors make a 2 year commitment to the mentees they are matched with, does this young person need that length of support?
3) We are rarely able to match whole sibling groups with mentors, we need you to prioritise for us.
4) The young person MUST be in agreement that they want a mentor and you MUST have discussed this with whoever has parental responsibility.
5) Are you referring because you are having to close your involvement but recognise there is still work to do? If so is it appropriate that this is picked up by a volunteer?
We thank you for your assistance and look forward to supporting as many of Somerset's vulnerable children as we safely can.
Professional agencies, children themselves or families can ask for a mentor. See below for more information on each option.
Is mentoring right for your child or young person?
PROMISEworks mentors make a minimum two year commitment to a young person with the aim of providing long term trusted support and guidance, but this doesn't mean that mentoring is the answer in every situation.
Mentoring is not something that can be “done to” a child or young person, we need them to want to take part, we can encourage them but we need you to have had a conversation with them first to see if they think it is something they would be prepared to do, just because you think it is a good idea doesn’t mean they will.
Please never “promise” your child a mentor, we always have a waiting list and must prioritise young people according to need.
Perhaps read some of the case studies on here to see what other young people have said about having a mentor, this may help you explain the idea.
If you are still unsure you can give us a call on 0300 365 1900 or contact us through our Facebook page @PROMISEworks or email mentoring@PROMISEworks.org.uk
The referral process
Our referral form is now available via a link to be completed online. The more information you can give us on the form the better able we will be to identify a correct mentoring match. It is crucial that you provide an up-to-date risk assessment if there are any identified risks connected with the young person, whether these be risks to themselves or to others.
You will receive an automated response when you send the referral. The PROMISEworks team then look at and discuss new referrals as they come in and we will contact you, the referrer, if we feel we may have a suitable volunteer available. If we feel unable to accept the referral for any reason, we will let you know at the earliest opportunity.
Updating us of any key changes for the young person while the referral is pending makes the likelihood of us being able to find an appropriate match much stronger.
Are you a professional looking to refer a young person?
If you are working with a young person who you believe would benefit from the long term mentoring PROMISEworks offers, then please do email us at mentoring@PROMISEworks.org.uk and request a link to the referral form.
If you are enquiring about support for a child in care then please email: route1Independentvisitors@somerset.gov.uk
If you are wishing to refer for shorter term support, please make this clear on the referral form.
We will acknowledge receipt of your referral and then come back to you once we are able to assist.
PLEASE NOTE: If you are wishing to refer because you are closing your involvement please ensure you call us first.
Are you a young person looking for help?
If you are a child or young person and you feel you need the support of a mentor you can call us on 0300 3651 900 or email us on mentoring@PROMISEworks.org.uk and we will come back to you as soon as we pick your message up.
If you need to talk to someone immediately call:
Childline: 0800 1111
or visit www.childline.org.uk where you can chat 1-2-1 to one of their counsellors in a chat room.
Other useful numbers:
Social Services - Out of Hours contact:
Emergency Duty Team - 0300 123 23 27
Are you a family member seeking help for someone else?
If you feel your child may benefit from a mentor, please read the following:.
We all have times when we wish someone would jump in and help us with a tricky parenting issue – this is not what PROMISEworks mentors do.
We would all like a couple of hours every week to ourselves without child/children safely occupied elsewhere – this is not what PROMISEworks mentors do.
My child has a diagnosis of … ASD/ADHD/ODD/Anxiety – this does not automatically mean mentoring is the best support available.
www.somersetchoices.org.uk is a great place to look for other organisations who may match your needs more closely.