Silver Lining Mentoring (SLM)

Scientific Rating:
NR
Not able to be Rated
See scale of 1-5
Child Welfare System Relevance Level:
High
See descriptions of 3 levels

About This Program

The information in this program outline is provided by the program representative and edited by the CEBC staff. Silver Lining Mentoring (SLM) has been reviewed by the CEBC in the area of: Mentoring Programs (Child & Adolescent), but lacks the necessary research evidence to be given a Scientific Rating.

Target Population: Youth with current or prior experience in foster care

For children/adolescents ages: 7 – 24

Brief Description

Silver Lining Mentoring (SLM) [formerly known as Adoption and Foster Care Mentoring] is designed to empower over 200 Boston-area youth who have been impacted by foster care through committed mentoring relationships and the development of essential life skills. SLM‘s goal is to create a community of consistent, adult support for youth in foster care that enables them to build the essential skills and emotional well-being they need to reach their full potential. SLM’s clinically trained Master’s-level staff form the foundation of SLM’s services. SLM pairs volunteer adult mentors with youth in foster care in one-to-one mentoring relationships. Leaders and Learn & Earn are skill-building programs that provide teens with financial incentives to earn and save. Social workers also provide ongoing social and emotional support to all participants. SLM youth are not passive recipients of services, but active in determining the supports they receive and the goals they set. Youth are encouraged to utilize SLM’s staff and services to navigate a healthy transition to adulthood in which they have the tools and resources they need to thrive.

Program Goals:

The goals of Silver Lining Mentoring (SLM) are:

  • Achieve Consistent Positive Relationships (CPR) – where the youth achieves a well-defined set of caring relationships, a secure sense of belonging and has the social networks in place to form a positive cultural identity and successfully transition to adulthood.
  • Improve Social Skills – where the youth has the set of social skills, including empathy, pro-social coping strategies, emotional regulation, and social and workplace etiquette.
  • Build Resiliency – where the youth has a positive self and cultural identity, is determined to achieve goals in the face of adversity, calls on help when appropriate, and plays a positive role in the community.
  • Acquire Independent Living Skills– where the youth demonstrates proficiency in basic life skills, such as finding housing, navigating public transportation, taking care of their health needs, filing taxes, and obtaining and managing important identification documents.
  • Promote Educational Progression – where the youth understands the importance of education and has a network of supportive adults to help them achieve their academic goals, access financial aid, and pursue a postsecondary degree and/or vocational programs.
  • Obtain Employment Readiness – where the youth gains the skills and knowledge to successfully apply for, obtain, and retain employment and has a network of supportive adults to help them identify and pursue a career that offers a livable wage.
  • Obtain Financial Literacy – where the youth obtains and learns to manage a checking and savings account, has gotten and understands their credit report and score, and can apply critical financial concepts, such as interest rates, needs versus wants, and budgeting, into their daily and long-term financial goals.
  • Essential Components

    The essentials components of Silver Lining Mentoring (SLM) include:

    • Minimum of 9 hours of screening done for volunteer mentors (1-hour information session, 1-hour interview, and at least 7 hours of mentor training, with an additional post-training interview as needed)
    • Training for volunteer mentors includes training on the foster care system, terms and language, attachment theory, effects of trauma and abuse, William Bridges Transition Framework, diversity and culture sensitivity, realistic/unrealistic expectations, healthy boundaries, and a mentor and mentee panel
    • Commitment of at least 18 months from date of application for volunteer mentors
    • Consistent meetings with youth in the youth’s community setting (twice per month, 8 hours per month)
    • One clinically trained program coordinator per match with as little turn over in program coordinators as possible
    • Monthly reporting and data collection from mentor to staff
    • Proactive match support; active outreach to mentor and mentee at least once a month
    • Organized group events every other month
    • Opportunities for youth 14 and older to take on leadership roles, paid roles, and learn life skills with a financial matched-savings component
    • Data collection before match and annually after the match is made
    • Annual mentor/mentee match anniversary meeting, renew contracts customized to each match
    • Do whatever it takes to keep match connected – phone calls, cards, letters, care packages when visits are not possible (e.g., mentee’s placement has restrictions), reimbursement for mentor travel costs so that mentors can still visit their mentee if their mentee moves
    • Facilitate a healthy closure to any match that ends – give as much notice as possible (planned is better than unexpected loss); create memory books and transitional objects to help with the good-bye; take the time to explain reasons for closure and make sure youth knows it is not their fault; offer youth continued participation in Silver Lining Mentoring programs

    Child/Adolescent Services

    Silver Lining Mentoring (SLM) directly provides services to children/adolescents and addresses the following:

    • Behaviors and beliefs that are the result of disrupted relationships, trauma, abuse, and/or neglect (e.g., anger, attachment, social/emotional capacity, etc.)

    Delivery Settings

    This program is typically conducted in a(n):

    • Birth Family Home
    • Community Agency
    • Community Daily Living Settings
    • Foster/Kinship Care
    • Group Home

    Homework

    This program does not include a homework component.

    Languages

    Silver Lining Mentoring (SLM) does not have materials available in a language other than English.

    Resources Needed to Run Program

    The typical resources for implementing the program are:

    Office space and equipment for staff, training room/space.

    Minimum Provider Qualifications

    Master's level degree in social work or equivalent

    Education and Training Resources

    There is not a manual that describes how to implement this program; but there is training available for this program.

    Training Contact:
    Training is obtained:

    Training can be provided in a variety of settings including onsite, regionally, etc. Contact Colby Swettberg to discuss training needs.

    Number of days/hours:

    SLM tailors training to the needs of individual organizations/partnerships.

    Relevant Published, Peer-Reviewed Research

    This program has been reviewed and it was determined that this program lacks the type of published, peer-reviewed research that meets the CEBC criteria for a scientific rating of 1 – 5. Therefore, the program has been given the classification of "NR - Not able to be Rated." It was reviewed because it was identified by the topic expert as a program being used in the field, or it is being marketed and/or used in California with children receiving services from child welfare or related systems and their parents/caregivers. Some programs that are not rated may have published, peer-reviewed research that does not meet the above stated criteria or may have eligible studies that have not yet been published in the peer-reviewed literature. For more information on the "NR - Not able to be Rated" classification, please see the Scientific Rating Scale.

    Child Welfare Outcomes: Not Specified

    Currently, there are no published, peer-reviewed research studies for Silver Lining Mentoring (SLM).

    References

    MENTOR. (2009). Elements of effective practice. Retrieved from http://www.mentoring.org/downloads/mentoring_1222.pdf

    Contact Information

    Name: Colby Swettberg, M.Ed., LCSW
    Agency/Affiliation: Silver Lining Mentoring
    Website: www.silverliningmentoring.org
    Email:
    Phone: (617) 224-1305

    Date Research Evidence Last Reviewed by CEBC: October 2013

    Date Program Content Last Reviewed by Program Staff: April 2016

    Date Program Originally Loaded onto CEBC: April 2012