In our work, we are constantly confronted with families experiencing various difficulties. We see how important the role of a family mentor could be – a person who can provide an overall picture of what the family needs, what help they can get and where they can get it. Last but not least, a person to help see hope and “escort” the family through the difficult times to get that help.
This international project, initiated by our long-term partner Skudutiškis Academy, is aimed at rural areas with a high demand for services. The goal of the project is to clarify the concept of family mentor in rural communities based on partner countries’ experience in adult education, provide guidelines for developing family mentor competencies and provide a tool for future family mentors to self-reflect on the skills and knowledge they already have and also need to develop.
Our partners in this project are: Skudutiškis Academy (Lithuania, Lead Project Partner), Fédération Regione Familles Rurales des Pays de la Loire (France), Fundacja Agencji Sluzby Spolecznej (Poland), OÜ Vestifex (Estonia), Instituto para el fomento del desarrollo y la formación SL (Spain). All partners have experience in adult education and enable members of their local communities to participate in a lifelong learning process by offering a variety of adult education services. The project brings together partners to find an international definition of the Family Mentor concept and identify competencies needed to find ways to use available community resources providing the necessary support for the family.
The duration of the project is two years.
14-15 October 2019 PhD Vaida Kalpokiene participated in an international partner meeting in Valladolid, Spain. Family mentor’s competencies and their self-assessment capabilities were discussed and further project activities were planned. At the end of 2019 the “Family Mentoring Competencies Guide” will be completed, presenting the concept of family mentoring in the community, the roles, activities and competencies of the family mentor, as well as methods for their assessment. Based on this guide, an interactive assessment and self-assessment tool is being prepared to help the organization and the prospective family mentor evaluate their competencies and prepare for the assessment.
10-13 June 2019. Head of the Children and Adolescent Unit, PhD Vaida Kalpokienė participated in international training in Narva, Estonia. Here the experiences of the countries and the results of the national sessions were shared with the project partners. Interesting and meaningful discussions were held in developing of a family mentoring strategy, where the definition, activities, roles, and competencies of a family mentor become clearer.
15 March 2019 a national session was held in Skudutiškis (Molėtai district). Here, Head of the Children and Adolescent Unit of our Center, PhD Vaida Kalpokienė, psychologist Julija Davidonienė, partners from Skudutiškis Academy and professionals working with families went into the definition and activities of a family mentor. Summarized data from the national session will be presented at the International Training Week in Narva, Estonia in June, further developing the concept of family mentoring.