The Healthy Start Parent Mentor Program, a service of Youth Eastside Services, is looking for volunteers interested in guiding young parents toward positive, healthy relationships with their young children. Program volunteers act as mentors, providing first-time young parents them with friendship, support and information that can assist in making healthy choices for them and their children. Mentors refer their Healthy Start participant to outside agencies for additional support and encourage steps towards family independence.
Call Karen Wherlock at (425) 586-2320 or email KarenW@YouthEastsideServices.org for more information. Interviews are being set up now. Mentors may volunteer in the greater Eastside, Renton, Snoqualmie Valley and North Snohomish County. In addition to English speakers, Spanish speaking, bilingual volunteers are encouraged to apply. Training will take place at Youth Eastside Services in Crossroads Park in Bellevue in October.
After screening and training, volunteers will be matched one-to-one with a parent under the age of 23 who is pregnant or parenting an infant. Each mentor spends 3-6 hours per month, for a minimum of one year, supporting the needs of the family and completing paperwork required for funding. Mentors must be non-judgmental, have excellent communications skills, and be organized. They need to have some flexibility in their schedule and time to form a new, meaningful relationship. Mentors should understand that they will most often have to take the lead in planning activities.
Healthy Start is a collaborative program of Friends of Youth, Youth Eastside Services, Northshore Youth and Family Services, Center for Human Services, and Renton Area Youth Services. YES is a leading provider of counseling and substance abuse services for youth on the Eastside, offering counseling, treatment, education and prevention services to help youth become healthy, confident and self-reliant and families to be strong, supportive and loving.