Silver Lining Mentoring seeks expert consultants on youth and young adult mentoring in the context of foster care involvement

Background

Silver Lining Mentoring’s mission is to empower youth in foster care to thrive through committed mentoring relationships and the development of essential life skills. For 20 years, Silver Lining Mentoring has exclusively served youth impacted by foster care.  The organization fulfills its mission in two ways: 1) by matching young people in the Greater Boston region with highly-committed and trained volunteer mentors through several programs; and 2) by providing Training and Technical Assistance to organizations across the country on how to deliver effective mentoring programs to young people in foster care in their local communities through the Silver Lining Institute (SLI/the Institute)

The Silver Lining Institute was launched in 2019 to expand access to mentoring relationships for youth impacted by foster care nationwide. Through a partnership with the National Mentoring Resource Center (NMRC), the Silver Lining Institute teaches best practices and serves as a strategic planning partner to organizations seeking to create or expand access to mentoring relationships for young people impacted by foster care.  The Institute offers Technical Assistance (TA) to a variety of entities from mentoring organizations looking to better serve youth in foster care, to foster care service providers seeking to create or enhance mentoring options. 

The Silver Lining Institute is currently seeking expressions of interest from professionals who can provide Technical Assistance to our clients. Technical Assistance Consultant roles are open to practitioners from a variety of disciplinary backgrounds and lived experience who can demonstrate experience supporting mentoring programs geared toward youth and young adults and/or supporting the healthy development of young people impacted by foster care. Ideal candidates will have experience at the intersection of both topic areas.

Examples of client work

Silver Lining Institute Technical Assistance Consultants respond to client needs by co-developing a scope of work.  Project scope may include strategic programmatic and organizational planning partnership, training on best practices in all areas of the Elements of Effective Practice for Mentoring, tactical problem-solving, or some combination of each. Below are examples of services a Consultant may offer in a consulting project:

• Learn about the client’s current mentor recruitment and screening efforts and recommend formats, tools and approaches to effectively attract and retain mentors in line with the youth population the program serves

• Create a custom-designed, highly interactive training for mentoring program staff using trauma-informed, population-specific knowledge (e.g. building diversity, equity & inclusion practices, utilizing youth voice to strengthen programs, etc.)

• Review the program’s existing mentor training and make recommendations about curriculum content, activities and training format that will prepare mentors to be responsive to the needs of youth in foster care

Consultant Expectations and Compensation

We offer a non-negotiable $50/hour payment for consulting projects, which vary in total length from approximately 10-30 hours and vary in project timeline usually from 1-3 months (with a 6 month maximum timeframe). Payment is made upon completion of the full project scope. Consultants are expected to be able to be assigned a minimum of 1 client per quarter.  Consultants able to make a commitment to serve 2-4 clients per quarter for a minimum of one year of consulting service are preferred.

Consultants must complete approximately 14 hours of unpaid, self-paced training and application materials required by Silver Lining Mentoring and the National Mentoring Resource Center as a prerequisite to serving as a TA Consultant.  Once approved for service, Consultants are expected to attend 1 monthly meeting to stay current on learnings and tools from the Institute.

Qualifications

Including, but not limited to:

• Experience supporting newly formed or in-progress mentoring organizations with start up initiatives including but not limited to policies and procedures development, realistic discussions about organizational needs and capacity, and more.

• Experience (e.g. professional, volunteer, educational, lived experience) with the child welfare system (foster care), mentoring programs, and/or youth and young adult development

• Values alignment with utilizing the following youth development frameworks: trauma-informed programming, culturally humble and responsive approach, harm-reduction approach, strengths-based approach, and youth-focused programming

• Demonstrated record of consistently meeting project deliverables on time 

• Consistent, proactive and timely communication with Institute staff

• Diligence with completing administrative and reporting responsibilities of the TA consulting role

• Commitment to provide maximum value to clients in service of the Institute’s mission by using existing resources, sourcing quality new resources (e.g. information, readings, tools, activities relevant for clients, etc.), and managing self and the project with minimal support from a supervisor

• Self-awareness and willingness to give and receive feedback.  Consultants should be prepared to communicate openly with the Institute staff about whether a potential client is best suited to the Consultant’s areas of knowledge and/or Consultant should be flexible to accept an alternative client.  Consultants should be prepared to give and receive feedback with Institute staff and clients in order to continuously improve the efficacy of their consulting services

• Prior experience serving as a Consultant or supervising Consultants is preferred

Anticipated Timeline

Expression of interest will be reviewed on a rolling basis. Consultant trainings will be conducted approximately twice per year. If you are interested in being considered for the next training, please submit an application by Friday, September 16, 2022.

Expression of Interest Instructions

To express interest in this opportunity, please complete the attached application and submit it as a PDF or Word attachment to HR@silverliningmentoring.org.  If you have questions, please contact Mobile Burrell, Assistant Director of TA and Institute Initiatives, mobile@silverliningmentoring.org. The Institute will contact you within 2 weeks from the date of submission if your application will be advanced for further consideration.

Expression of Interest Application

1. Name:

2. Phone number:

3. Email:

4. Why are you interested in this opportunity?

5. Please describe your availability for providing TA in 2022 and 2023.

6. Please list and explain relevant experience for the TA Consultant role.

7. Please provide 1-2 references who are familiar with your work. Provide the following: their name, email, phone number, and how/why they know you.

8. When submitting this form, please also attach your resume.