Foster-Care Mentoring in The Bay Area

Mentors change lives one hour at a time

We are here to educate you about foster care, equip you to invest in youth, and give you a meaningful supportive community—so you can help transform the foster-care system in our area.

Get equipped and mentor confidently

At Braid Mission, we’re confident that everyone is capable of making a lasting difference—regardless of how busy you are or how unprepared you feel.

That’s why we train you and match you with a team of volunteers, so you’re not in this alone. You’re not responsible for resolving lifelong struggles or trauma; your job is to show up and have fun with your mentee!

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Experience our team approach that helps everyone flourish

Each Braid team consists of one youth in foster care, three adult volunteers, and one facilitator. Together, each member contributes to a positive, stable environment where healing can take place.

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Youth

Through our mentorship program, youth in foster care can enjoy consistent, fun relationships and slowly see a restored vision of what a healthy community can look like.

Mentors

When scheduling conflicts inevitably come up, your mentee will still get the consistency they need thanks to our team approach. Plus, you get to enjoy connecting with your fellow volunteers.

Facilitators

You can mentor confidently knowing your facilitator has your team’s back. They are one call away when you need guidance in navigating a difficult topic or situation.

Are you ready to make a difference? Here’s how it works...

Team-Mentorship

Team Mentorship

Get matched with two other adult volunteers and mentor as a team.

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One Hour a Week

One hour a week with your mentee is all it takes to make a lasting difference.

Fun-Adventures

Fun Adventures

Explore the Bay Area as a team as you spend intentional time with your mentee.

What does mentoring actually look like?

The possibilities are endless! Each week, your team gets to decide what adventures you’ll go on with your mentee. The goal is to spend time together and have fun.

Here are a few ideas to get you started…

  • Picnic in a park or at the beach
  • Play a round of mini golf
  • Plan a scavenger hunt in a neighborhood your mentee has never visited
  • Bring ingredients to make slime
  • Learn a new card game
  • Enjoy a meal together
  • Meet in the park for a game of basketball
  • Play video games together via Zoom
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Feel connected to the city you live in.

Understand the needs of your community on a deeper level, give back to your neighbors, and enjoy exploring the area with your mentee.

Spend your time in a meaningful way.

In the hour it takes to watch an episode of your favorite show, you can make a positive impact that could affect generations to come!

Get equipped to mentor confidently.

Learning about the foster-care system can be overwhelming. Through training sessions, we will equip you to mentor confidently—so you can contribute to healing.

Enjoy a fun, supportive community that cares about you.

Becoming a mentor gives you access to teammates on the same mission who can quickly become friends.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Becoming a mentor is a three-step process.

First, we want to hear from you. Please fill out the online inquiry form to let us know about your interest in becoming a mentor. We will follow up to tell you more about what it means to be a Braid mentor and answer any questions you might have.

Second, we want to train you. Our initial training lasts five hours and includes an introduction to the foster system and how to be an effective mentor. If you are inspired by the training and want to continue, we will ask you to complete a volunteer application, a background check and fingerprinting, and a brief online training on how to protect youth and mentors and promote healthy boundaries.

Finally, we want to match you. We will team you up with two other mentors who will balance you and support you and we’ll match your team with a foster youth who will benefit from your particular skills and interests. Now comes the transformative work of mentoring! We can’t wait to hear from you!

Let’s get started!

Braid mentors commit to one hour per week in activity with your youth, and at least one meeting per month in reflection with your team. We’re looking for mentors who can commit at least a year to the program.

Simply spending time with the youth once a week – your greatest gift is your consistent presence. You’ll be assigned to a team of three; you and your teammates can plan fun activities that suit your interests and personalities. We don’t expect you to be tutors or therapists.

You can! We welcome adult mentors of all ages and backgrounds. Our only requirement is that you want to show up for a foster child. We provide extensive training and support to equip you to respond to the needs of your youth.

A Braid mentor is someone who is a positive and consistent presence in the life of a child who has been in foster care. It’s not about having all the right answers and advice to give a child. A mentor is someone who shows up, listens patiently, and genuinely cares.

After you complete Braid training, we ask you to fill out a form telling us more about your interests and availability. We use this information, as well as what we have learned about you in training and what we hear from your references, in matching teams.

Braid is about laying a foundation for a long-term relationship with a young person, so we do our best to build teams where mentors are a good match for the youth and for each other.

The more limited your availability, the longer it will take to match you with a team – but we want to be sure your commitment works for you long-term, so please be honest about when you could be consistently available for your youth.

You will always have the ability to tell us whether or not a team possibility feels like a good fit.

We encourage teams to keep outings low-cost or no-cost. Your greatest gift to your youth is your committed presence from week to week, and your outings don’t need to be extravagant.

Lots of teams have a regular favorite spot like a park, rec center, or coffee shop. You can do crafts, make slime, play a card game, or explore a new neighborhood together!

You can see many examples of “mentor moment” photos on Braid’s social media.

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It’s simple to get started. Here’s how it works.

1

Contact us.

Schedule a phone call so our team can get to know you and answer your questions.

2

Register for
training.

Sign up for training to learn more about the foster-care system and our mentorship approach.

3

Get matched.

Meet your team of fellow volunteers and a youth in foster care.

4

Start making
a difference!

Be part of addressing the foster-care crisis in your community.

Take your next step today.

You have what it takes to contribute to healing. Join a movement to address the foster-care crisis in the Bay Area.