Warren County, VA--Warren County Sheriff Daniel T. McEathron announces the start of a new youth mentor program in Warren County, VA
The Warren County Sheriff’s Office and Northwestern Community Services have created a new and innovative youth mentoring program. Combining the knowledge and experience of law enforcement and mental health experts, the program works with youth who need the support, guidance, counseling, or role-modeling that trained mentors can provide. Referrals to the program are coordinated through the Warren County Child Services Act (CSA) office.
The mentors are all off-duty Sheriff’s Office deputies. The program uses deputies because, in part, they are highly visible representatives of the local community. They understand our community, its needs, and challenges. They see the impact on youth who have and do not have positive role models. This knowledge helps them identify key at-risk behaviors that the youth may engage in.
Youth mentors become solid role models for at-risk youth by providing concentrated adult attention that may be otherwise missing in a youth’s life. Through mentoring a youth can build the self-confidence they need by being accepted and supported by an adult. A law enforcement officer as mentor can also broaden a youth’s horizons and expose them to new experiences that may not be otherwise available in their immediate environment.
Northwestern Community Services provides training and clinical support to the youth mentors, and the program operates under the oversight of that agency. The mentors and youths are matched based upon personality, interests, the needs of the youth, and the strengths of the mentor. Each mentor-youth team works on goals identified by the youth, his or her family, or professionals already involved in the life of the youth. Each mentor-youth commits to participate in the program for up to one year, and progress is monitored by Northwestern Community Services and the Warren County Family and Assessment Planning (FAPT) Team.
Program costs are typically reimbursed through funds available from the Warren County Community Policy and Management Team (CPMT). In order to be eligible for participation in the program, a youth must meet program eligibility criteria and be approved for services from the Warren County Family and Assessment Planning Team. For more information about the Youth mentoring Program, please contact Mark Gleason, Northwestern Community Services, at (540) 636-4250, ext. 2240.
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October 17, 2018
Sheriff Daniel T. McEathron