“You can be someone’s superhero! Become a youth mentor!” That’s the latest request for community help from the local office of BCFS Health and Human Services.

Mentors are needed for the “Youth Averted from Delinquency” mentoring program at BCFS Health and Human Services-Kerrville.

YAD mentoring enhances programming for youth in the juvenile justice system, through healthy relationships with matched mentors.

Norman Taylor is the YAD case manager at the Kerrville BCFS office; and he is assisted in this program by Micaela Carabajal, YAD supervisor; and Kamaria Woods, community services director.

The trio said mentors are paired with a “mentee” ages 10-17 years of age, based on age gap requirements.

Mentors are provided with training, support and activity ideas, they said.

Mentors must be 18 years of age or older; complete the YAD Mentoring application; undergo a background check; a complete 30 hours of training, they said.

He said each prospective mentor have to be age 18 or over, and they start with filling out an information sheet; and then having a conversation with Taylor or other directors.

Those accepted into the program are assigned to a single mentee, men usually to boys and women to girls.

The 30 hours of training starts with 10 hours with staff members on specifics about safety, and reporting requirements and program requirements and goals.

Ongoing, Carabajal meets with each mentor weekly, too (without their assigned youth) but she said those meetings aren’t necessarily face to face.

She said this program – being funded under a grant that is new – needs 30 mentors to serve 30 youth. Thus far they have about half that number in “committed” and “potential” categories.

Woods and Carabajal said potential mentors can apply online.

Taylor said a staff member is assigned to keep in contact with each youngster in the group, at least weekly or more.

Youth are referred by the local juvenile court or juvenile probation.

YAD provides case management, and “wrap-around services” for those youth.

The youth in the program are referred by the Juvenile Justice Department, the “Failure to Attend School” courts, area schools, and parental walk-ins.

They said in this program all the youth who are seeking mentors come from the juvenile justice system.  

For more information, contact Michaela Carabajal at (830) 346-2233; or by email at mc1518@ BCFS.net.

The BCFS Health and Human Services-Kerrville website is DiscoverBCFS.net/Kerrville.

The office is located at 1127 E. Main St., Suite 106, in Kerrville. The main office phone number is 896-0993; and office hours are Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m.

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