On average, 40+ youth age out of Mecklenburg County’s foster care system each year.
these youth are at an increased risk to experience homelessness, unemployment, & Incarceration as adults.
Children 9+ years of age are 5 times more likely to age out simply because they no longer look like a “baby”.
Of those that age out…
70% of young women will become pregnant before age 21.
60% of young men will be incarcerated.
50% of youth will abuse substances (drugs or alcohol).
97% of youth with not earn a college degree.
Communities lose $300,000 in lost wages, public assistance, and incarceration for each individual who ages out.
*Statistics: 2018 Mecklenburg County Youth & Family Services
Our program is built on the simple reality that connection matters.
Be the connection that these kids need.
Youth in foster care experience adversities and are in need of a support and services to increase their knowledge of life skills, as well as the emotional, relational, and social competencies necessary to act upon those skills.
Weekend miracles gives older youth the opportunity to connect with mentors who will walk alongside and support them through the challenges and transitions they will experience on their journey to adulthood. It is a time for the child to experience authentic connections, have no-strings-attached fun, and be with people who are interested in their well-being. Once kids get to know people in a non-threatening environment, they might find a permanent relationship that can make an important difference in their lives.
01. Attend a WEEKEND MIRACLES mentor orientation
Individuals and/or couples interested in becoming a Weekend Miracles mentor should plan to attend a Mentor Orientation. This is a “no-commitment” orientation where you will hear from CFK staff about what becoming a mentor really means in our program. You will also have an opportunity to ask questions and meet other mentors and Weekend Miracles staff.
upcoming mentor orientations
Attendance at an orientation session is a mandatory prerequisite to our training.
September 12, 2019 | 729 E 36th Street
December 5, 2019 | Location TBD
02. Fill out a WEEKEND MIRACLES mentor application
A mentor application with associated background check is required for all interested parties. As part of the application process, we ask mentors to make a $30 donation to assist with the cost associated with the background check. You will then be contacted by Weekend Miracles staff who will conduct a brief interview and provide additional training and information, as needed.
WHY WEEKEND MIRACLES?
wEEKEND MIRACLES IN A UNIQUE MENTORING PROGRAM FOR YOUTH IN FOSTER CARE - WHERE THE YOUTH ARE IN THE DRIVER’S SEAT AND MENTORING MATCHES OCCUR ORGANICALLY.
10 things you need to know:
Youth eligible for the program are aged 9-19 yrs, are mentally and physically ready for the program, have had their parental reunification efforts terminated, are living in a foster home that is not permanent or in a group home, have voluntarily chosen to participate in the program.
Mentors must be 25+ yrs of age, can be individuals or married couples, and can have children of their own
Medical and psychiatric history, as well as criminal background and history of substance abuse must be disclosed at time of application and could prevent program participation
Interested individuals must attend a mentor orientation and complete a mentor application to be considered for the program. CFK staff will review the application and be in-touch regarding status and questions.
Once cleared and accepted, mentors are invited to meet youth at our monthly Weekend Miracles Matching events.
Mentors are volunteers that commit to investing in the life of a youth in foster care for a minimum of one year and typically spend time with their mentee 2x a month.
Each month, CFK hosts a Weekend Miracles Matching Event that creates a fun, safe, and low stakes environment for youth and potential mentors to meet and participate in a shared experience. These events are sponsored by local churches and include interactive activities, games, and a meal.
After each event, youth and mentors complete surveys to identify potential connections. If youth and mentors “match” by selecting one another, we work to nurture these connections and allow them to grow organically over the next several events - this can take anywhere from 3 to 9+ months.
Once it becomes clear that a solid match has been made, mentors are subject to additional clearances and training before being cleared as their match’s official mentor.
Once a mentor completes these additional steps, they are free to grow their relationship with their mentee outside of Weekend Miracle Events; ideally hosting youth for the day or weekend, inviting them into their lives in appropriate ways to encourage academics, teach life skills, and offer support through transitions.