Bridges Kinship Mentoring Criteria for Children

Agency Referral Form

Child Eligibility



Children applying to be matched with a mentor through Bridges Kinship Mentoring must meet the approval of staff and occasionally board of directors in the following areas:

  1. Is the child between the ages of 5 and 17?  Preferably youth should be no older than 15 when a match is begun.
  2. Does he/she live in Itasca County?
  3. The child may be in a single parent home or have both parents in the home, or a parent and step parent/significant other, or may be in foster care placement.  To the best of one’s ability to foresee, the child should be expected to remain in their current living situation, or – if moved to a new home environment – will still be in this geographic area so that a mentoring relationship could continue.
  4. Is the child able to connect with a mentor? (Severe attachment disorders may not work when the mentor is a volunteer and not trained to deal with such a disorder.)
  5. Are there particular needs the child has that may require specific experiences or training on the part of the mentor?
  6. Is the child in need of additional adult support in the form of a friend­?  Bridges volunteers go through a screening and training process but are not professional social workers or counselors.
  7. Is the family willing to support a mentor for their child by submitting an application, having a home visit by Bridges staff, signing release of information forms, having the child ready and available on a weekly or bi-weekly basis for a mentor to pick them up and connecting with the staff of Bridges to support and sustain the match?
  8. Has the family addressed or are they in the process of addressing needs that may be barriers to a long-term mentor relationship (such as having housing and a phone, counseling for family crisis such as recent deaths, physical and mental health or abuse situations)?
  9. If the family is unable to support a mentoring relationship, as addressed in items 7 and 9, School-based mentoring may be an appropriate alternative.
  10. If the child has access to positive role models, such as the significant other of a parent, an aunt or uncle they see regularly, the child’s needs may be determined to be less than another child on the wait list who would be prioritized.