Listen to a short KGNU interview with our founder, Tania Leontov about mentoring. (mp3)
Mentor Volunteer Job Description and Training
A mentor 25 years of age or older and willing to provide guidance in life skills and decision making while holding a nonjudgmental perspective. The mentor should commit to not act either as a therapist or religious counselor, but to be willing to refer clients to others for these needs. After completing the Mentor Application, potential volunteers will be interviewed by the staff.
Volunteers should be prepared to make a commitment of at least one year. The mentoring relationship may last for a longer or shorter period depending on the offender’s and mentor’s assessment of the success of the relationship. As participation for both the mentor and client is voluntary, it may be ended at any point if either the client, mentor or both decide that termination is appropriate.
The mentor will spend 1-2 hours per week with the client. The mentor may spend additional time if he/she is willing and deems it necessary. When the mentor will be unavailable (vacation, illness, etc.) for a period of time, another FOCUS staff member fills in with the client, if appropriate.
Volunteers receive 17 hours of preliminary training before beginning to mentor. This includes an introduction to the legal system, FOCUS and Jail protocols, victim sensitivity training, training in Motivational Interviewing and Stages of Change and information on setting boundaries and recognizing forms of manipulation. It also includes a mandatory orientation at the jail and a background check. Attendance at a monthly evening workshop (2nd Tuesday or Thursday of the month, dinner provided) is are also required. Mentors will need to make reports using an online form on the FOCUS website.
Extensive support is available to mentors. FOCUS staff and the therapists and criminal justice professionals associated with the program are also available for one on one discussion. Staff will initiate contact with mentors regularly just to check in.
If you are interested in becoming a FOCUS Mentor, please complete the application below (PDF or Word document available) and either email to us at email@example.com or print, complete, and mail to us at:
3700 Baseline Road
Boulder, CO 80303
View the Mentor / FOCUS Contract.