Can I run XLM as an individual?
The XLM Project needs to be owned and operated by a church or other charitable organisation and have the full support of the church or organisation leadership, for three key reasons. Firstly, it needs to operate under an established safeguarding framework/policy that cannot be provided by a single individual (note that the Child Protection Officer will need to be involved and help with this type of project). Secondly, the person leading this project will need support and oversight from others in the church or other organisation. And, thirdly, one of the key objectives of the project is to provide a way for local church congregations to engage with young people who need their help.
Who should our church/organisation choose as the XLM coordinator?
The role of an XLM Coordinator is best suited to someone who: has a passion to help young people who are struggling; is naturally a good organiser; has the ability to communicate with a wide range of people; has the confidence of their church leadership and those within the congregation; and has the capacity to dedicate the necessary time to establish and run the project. They do not necessarily have to be a youth worker or involved in any current youth/children’s work at their church.
I am already involved in mentoring. Do I have to attend both days of training?
We would like to run a mentoring course with the Christian young people in our youth group as part of a discipleship programme. Does that work with XLM?
XLM has been designed to engage young people who are on the margins of the community and particularly those at risk of exclusion or educational failure – the training and resources are tailored accordingly. You will need to determine whether the discipleship needs of your young people are best met by XLM or by other discipleship resources that are available.
Do we already have to be involved in our local community and/or schools?
To operate an XLM project you will need to engage with the local community and local schools. Schools will, for instance, need to know you and trust you before they are confident in referring young people to you who may need help. If you are not engaged with your local school, you will need to think of how to develop a relationship with them, which may mean not starting mentoring straight away, but beginning by helping with lesson support or a lunch-time club. Over time, once the relationship has developed sufficiently, then mentoring could be offered. Other churches or organisations may already have close links with local schools and be able to start mentoring far more quickly. It is all about appreciating and respecting where your church or other organisation is in its relationships with the local community.
We run a mentoring project in school. Can we use XLM in that context?
Yes. We have found that mentoring a young person outside of school has lots of benefits, so we encourage Coordinators to set up their mentoring to take place outside of school hours – on weekday evenings and weekends. However, the same basic principles apply to mentoring in schools when it comes to sourcing mentees, matching, and supervising the mentoring relationship. If you do keep your mentoring within a school context, we would encourage you to incorporate some kind of home visit or activity that takes place outside of school within the 12 month mentoring relationship.
What happens if a safeguarding or child protection issue comes up within the XLM project?
The XLM project that you establish in your church or organisation is your project and your church or organisation is responsible and accountable for dealing with issues of safeguarding and child protection in the same way as it would be for any other project it operates. It is the responsibility of your Safeguarding/Child Protection officer to conduct DBS checks for all of your potential mentors.
Do we have to call it XL-Mentoring?
No, you do not have to use any of our branding. All of our paperwork will be made available to you, but you should feel free to amend any of it to suit your needs and circumstances.