CADY Mentoring Program
A good caddy shares experience and knowledge about a golf course with the golfer, giving advice about the best club to use for a particular shot and providing guidance through the rough and around the sand and water traps.
Similarly, a good “CADY” adult mentor uses experience and knowledge to guide a child through the sometimes-rough course of life. CADY (Caring Adults Developing Youth) is a new program run by the Clatsop County Juvenile Department with the Management and Training Corporation.
The program is now recruiting adults to volunteer to be mentors for children ages 10 through 17 who are at risk of failing or dropping out of school. The adult volunteers are screened, interviewed and trained before being matched with a youth with similar interests.
The adult mentor shares his/her life experiences, supports goals and encourages the child to reach his/her dreams and full potential. The mentor and youth meet once a week to establish a relationship that focuses on developing the youth’s character, capabilities and potential through enjoyable activities.
Adults interested in becoming mentors are asked to fill out an application. Applicants must be at least 21, have no criminal record and agree to background checks of their driving record, criminal history, employment and personal references. They also must be able to commit to one year to the program with at least eight hours per month and have one contact a week with the child.
Research has identified school failure as one of the five primary indicators that a youth will be involved in crime. The drop-out rate for Clatsop County was 13.7 percent compared to Oregon’s statewide average of 10.4 percent, according to the Clatsop County Databook compiled by the Oregon Department of Human Services. Clatsop County’s school commitment rate was also poorer.
Research also shows that relationships with caring adults, in addition to the child’s parents, can help a young person grow up healthy. A study of the Big Brother/Big Sister mentoring program showed that youth with mentors were 46 percent less likely to begin using drugs, 27 percent less likely to begin using alcohol, were 53 percent less likely to skip school, were 33 percent less likely to engage in school violence, had improved school attendance and performance, and better attitudes toward completing schoolwork, and had improved peer and family relationships.
The program is funded through grants from the Oregon Criminal Justice Commission, Commission on Children and Families, and Juvenile Crime Prevention.
More information about the program is available from CADY Mentoring Coordinator Laura Parker at (503) 325-8601.
More information about the CADY program nationwide is available at www.cadymentoring.us