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Sunday, November 15, 2009
What if your funding runs out and your program has to close?
By tutormentor2 @ 9:56 AM :: 3522 Views :: 0 Comments :: Article Rating :: Articles about tutoring and mentoring programs
 

What if funding ends for a tutor/mentor program?  Here's an articfle from the newsletter of Australia's Youth Mentoring Network, where many programs face the prospect of closing because of lack of continued funding.

Winding Up a Program
 

When a primary source of funding comes to an end an Closed signorganisation is faced with the tough decision to keep a mentoring program running (possibly in a reduced capacity) while more funding is sought or to close the program. About 50 of the AYMN's registered programs are facing just this over the next few weeks as they wait anxiously to hear whether they have been successful in applying for Government Tenders. If unsuccessful many will close their doors. But what impact will this have on the mentors and the young people in your program?
 
A program has a duty of care to limit the negative impact a program closure has on the young people and their mentors in the program.
 
Ways to minimise any negative effects:
    • Ensure you continue to communicate effectively with all parties involved including parents, schools and other key stakeholders; 
    • Let the young people know what the organisation's situation is and what it will mean for their relationships;
    • Give them a specific date when all relationships will close; and
    • Make sure all parties are aware of your future contact policies.
Just matched pairs? 
If you have just matched mentoring pairs and they were under the assumption that the relationship was going to continue past the current closing date, you have two options. It is recommended that your organisation either continues to support the pair until the 9 month mark of their relationship (the minimum contact a mentee should have with their mentor) or transfer that relationship to another program which will continue to operate.
 
We know that mentoring relationships which terminate early and/or suddenly can cause harm to the young person involved. By continuing the relationship to the minimum commitment period the risk of harm is significantly reduced and if terminated correctly, can be eliminated all together.  

The AYMN is producing a checklist to assist programs who are closing to ensure they meet not only their funding requirements but also their duty of care to support the mentors and mentees through this process. This will be available on our website next week.
 
 

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The best solution is to innovate ways to keep funding in place, or to find new funding.  This is the goal of the Tutor/Mentor Connection and why we host this web site and a Tutor/Mentor Leadership and Networking Conference every six months.  We invite our friends from Australia and other cities to join us in on-line forums where we can share ideas that work in some parts of the world, which could work in other parts of the world.  Let's not let the funding end. Our kids already have too many people letting them down.

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