The Mission Mentoring Programme: an initiative for council employees to become mentors to looked after children

Pandelitsa Cosma, Anita Soni - Adoption & Fostering


The Mission Mentoring Programme is an innovative scheme that supports council employees to become mentors for looked after children. It was first piloted in 2015, proved successful with rewarding outcomes and has continued to grow and attract interest. This article presents a case study of a young man who participated in the programme and found it helpful for his transition to adulthood and intended employment. It summarises his views and experiences along with those of his mentor and the virtual school headteacher who established the programme. The article begins with a review of the literature on mentoring interventions and sets the background to the programme. Key themes identified highlight the importance of the matching process between mentor and mentee, potential ways of developing the corporate parenting role, destigmatising the care experience and improving children's life chances. The article concludes with a discussion of the programme's potential contribution to welfare services and ways in which it might develop.