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Chance UK is a registered charity that provides mentoring for 5-11 year olds with behavioural difficulties who are at risk of developing anti-social or criminal offending behaviour later in life. The mentoring is delivered by carefully screened and trained volunteer mentors who are closely supervised and supported in their work. We also offer support to parents.
The children we work with often have problems managing anger, concentrating at school, making friends and following instructions from adults.
Children are referred to Chance UK by primary school teachers, social services and other agencies. We assess their behaviour using the tried and tested Goodman Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ), and include other information about the child's environment. Once a child has been accepted, he or she is carefully matched with a volunteer mentor with the skills and personality needed to make a positive change in the child.
The mentor and child meet once a week for a year, for a few hours at a time. Sessions take place at venues such as public libraries, community centres, sports halls, museums and public parks.
The first three months of the mentoring relationship are the 'engagement' phase, during which the mentor and child build a trusting relationship. Then a meeting takes place between the mentor, child, parents and programme manager at the end of the 'engagement' phase to review progress, to identify and agree realistic goals for the next phase, and to reinforce strengths and resources of the child that can be built on. The next nine months continue the 'solution focused' work, during which the child and mentor work towards achieving agreed goals. The mentor will meet the programme manager once a month for supervision and support.
At the end of the mentoring year, every child and mentor graduates from the programme at an event where their achievements over the year are celebrated with family and friends. This gives everyone the chance to acknowledge the progress that has been made and provides a positive ending to the relationship