Veteran mentors are veteran volunteers responsible for serving as a supporter, guide and confidant for veteran participants. Mentors should provide support as participants progress through the Veterans Treatment Court and should feel comfortable working collaboratively to assist participants, and, where appropriate, their families, in successfully completing the directives of the court.

Veteran mentors should:

1. Meet with participants to assist in resolving their issues.

  • Each meeting should build on the participants’ previous conversations
  • Meetings should be conducted in person (where possible)
  • Refer participants to appropriate services
  • Facilitate an understanding of courtroom procedures

2. Work collaboratively with the other mentors and the mentor coordinator.

3. Motivate participants utilizing a strengths-based approach by:

  • providing encouragement to participants by highlighting their strengths, including, talents, skills and knowledge
  • focusing on what has been successful
  • believing that participants have the potential to learn, grow and change

4. Maintain federal confidentiality standards.

5. Attend clinical and legal training programs supported or provided by the Veterans Treatment Court.

  • Mentors should attend an initial training session where topics may include Veterans Treatment Court’s policies and procedures, mentoring dos and don’ts, psychopharmacology, mental illness,
    Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and Traumatic Brain Injury.

6. Communicate with their mentor coordinator to resolve any issues regarding time commitments, resistant participants or unmanageable challenges.

  • If a mentor fears for the safety of a participant or is concerned about a participant’s behavior, the mentor should report any concerns to their mentor coordinator immediately.

7. Update the mentor logbook or case management notes after speaking with a participant.

8. Commit to a period of time, usually 5 to 6 months, to mentor in the Veterans Treatment Court.

9. Provide a valid military service record (DD214 or DD215) and, if necessary, submit to background verification.

Responsibilities of Veteran Mentors

The following responsibilities should be carried out by veteran mentors:

  • attend relevant training programs
  • communicate with the mentor coordinator regarding any issues
  • update the mentor logs or case management notes
  • maintain confidentiality
  • maintain appropriate boundaries with participants
  • be respectful and always speak with a positive tone

While meeting with participants, mentors must NOT:

  • make clinical recommendations
  • give legal advice
  • provide psychotherapy
  • utilize a stern approach
  • inappropriately extend the boundaries of their relationship

Requirements and Qualifications for Veteran Mentors

Mentors should:

  • complete a Mentor Application
  • provide a valid DD214 or DD215 (honorable discharge is preferred)
  • submit to a background check, if requested
  • be respectful of individual differences and maintain appropriate boundaries with participants
  • not be an active employee of the Unified Court System, an active member of law enforcement or a member of any other organization that may present a conflict of interest with the mentor program
  • commit to a time period of 5 to 6 months

James Robinson
Bronx Veteran Mentor

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