Parenting Classes

We only ask that Mentors commit at least one hour a week to their Mentee, even if you are only available by phone.

In a practical way, the Mentor is the face and voice of hope when parents in crisis are overwhelmed by the devastating loss of their children. Parents understand that if they do not “clean up” their lives or their living situations, they may lose their children permanently, in many cases never seeing them again. Can you imagine the fear and heartbreak such parents and children experience?

Frightened, depressed, and overwhelmed, most of these parents are desperate for help. Finding hope through a mature Christian mentor, as we have seen, can make all the difference! Mentors are like life-coaches; they know that life has “bumps,” but that there is a God who can heal broken hearts and restore lives.

Having a mentor greatly improves a mentee’s success rate; however, God has shown us this is also an eternal question. Most of our parents are not currently attending a church. Most are filled with shame, bitterness, unforgiveness, and anger because of what has happened in their own past and because of what, through their own poor choices, has occurred to their children. Their souls are not ready for heaven.

Testimonies by Mothers “My mentor has been a great gift to me, helping me with my case plan for DFCS. She has become a great friend and a light in my life with the read more...

Testimonies by Mothers

“My mentor has been a great gift to me, helping me with my case plan for DFCS. She has become a great friend and a light in my life with the words of God to help me go forward. She is there for me, never giving up on me, and helps me to believe in myself and my ability to succeed. I could never put into words how much she means to me and my children or how she has changed my life. She has helped me with so many things, taking me places, helping me find a new home, and most of all praying for me and my children.”

---Sarah (not her real name)

“My mentor has prayed with me and given me encouragement. I knew I could call her, and that meant so much to me. On top of it all, she has become a good friend. In the whole system, she has been the most approachable person to talk with about anything, and she gave me hope that I could fulfill my goals. She helped me realize that things weren’t hopeless, that yes, I was in a bad situation, but that by turning to God, He could help me make it a better situation. It was so important to me that I had a mature Christian mentor to turn to during this most difficult time of my life.

---Julie (not her real name)

“I came to a point where I truly believed I was worthless. I’d heard negative words from many people around me who also told me I was worthless. I was addicted to alcohol and my children were in foster care. I really believed they were better off without me. My mentor came into my life and suddenly I had a friend like I’d never had before. She began to pull things out of me that I’d forgotten were there. For example, she began to show me I was a good mother and that I wasn’t worthless. I started to see myself differently. I began to see positive aspects of myself that I knew were there, but that I’d buried under piles of hurt, addiction, and anger. I found an inner strength. My mentor helped me see myself as God sees me. What is even more amazing is that this person, who was a complete stranger, really cared about me! My mentor never gave up on me, never judged me, but kept on believing. Having a mentor has been a life-changing experience.”

---Anne (not her real name)

“Just having a mentor who believes in you helps you to believe in yourself. Just a word of encouragement and the knowledge that there is not judgment or criticism, but just genuine support, makes so much difference in your outlook. Life-changing experiences don’t happen overnight, so having someone who commits to hanging in there for as long as it takes gives you amazing hope—the hope that you can make it.”

---Debbie (not her real name)
In order to succeed, these parents (through the help of God and others) need to experience deep healing and transformation. But even those who aren’t able to reunify with their children should be given an opportunity to see God through the hearts of those who love Him, so that when they are ready, they can cry out to the only one who can save them.
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A Message Of Hope

It is absolutely amazing to see how God works by pairing up two people in the relationship of Mentor and Mentee. Both experience blessing and growth. Mentoring is life-giving, in that life flows out to another and then flows right back to the giver.

When I think of the Mentoring Program, I envision a hand stretched out, helping someone out of the ditch they have fallen into. As you listen and respond in kindness, you’re helping that person see God’s mercy. Then you walk alongside the Mentee as she or he begins to gain strength as an overcomer. One day the Mentee will be in a position to help someone else out of a ditch. This is God’s plan for His cycle of love!

Often this is the first time Mentees have ever been affirmed, and this experience of care and concern begins to change their hearts and lives.

One day a Mentee said how thankful she was for my being her Mentor. I had to say, “You must thank God for how much He loves you since that’s the reason I’m here.”

Mentors are just people with caring hearts, people with an intimate relationship with God so that they genuinely know how much Jesus and the Heavenly Father love them. Most people, Mentees included, don’t want to hear how much you know until they know how much you care. However, many Mentees have expressed a desire to know the Almighty God who created them for His great purposes. As you develop a relationship with your Mentee, you will learn what kinds of ways you can help.

    Some Activities with Mentees have included:
  • Meeting the children and family
  • Phone calls (to listen, pray, and encourage)
  • Celebrate birthdays
  • Meeting for a cup of coffee or a lunch
  • Conflict resolution
  • Going to church together / Bible study
  • Going to court with them for moral support
  • Taking them to the food bank
  • Finding clothes together at a thrift store
  • Taking them to the Tennessee Aquarium or Creative Discovery Museum (donated tickets)
  • Taking them to complete a housing application
  • Being a support person on a DFCS panel
  • Taking them and the kids to eat pizza / play games
  • Helping them find employment (when necessary)
  • Helping them find furniture / housing
  • Helping them make a financial budget
  • Letting Jesus be a friend through you

Being a Mentor has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my life as a Christian. Please prayerfully consider whether God is prompting you to be a light for someone in need. Maybe you and a friend would like to pair up to form a two-person mentoring team? Training is offered to mentors at no cost. We only ask that Mentors commit at least one hour a week to their Mentee, even if you are only available by phone.

Linda Clark, Director, Mentoring Program