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Mentoring and Befriending Foundation – Practice Model for Providers of Mentoring and Befriending Services The MBF risk model looks at four areas of practice: 1. Areas of organisational risk 2. Involvement of volunteers 3. Client group 4. The mentoring/befriending relationship The four areas have been compiled into a checklist for providers in order to assist with the implementation of an effective risk management action plan. Providers may want to adapt elements of this to fit with their own programme. Areas of organisational risk Stakeholder consultation o Who are the stakeholders? o What is the best way of including them in consultation? o Who will lead on the consultation/action planning process? o What are the partnership arrangements? o What are the lines of accountability for risk issues? o Are protocols required for partnership working? Resources o Does the organisation have sufficient financial and other resources to effectively carry out the work? o How will these be audited, accounted and reviewed? o What contingencies are in place for ‘emergencies’ such as unexpected expenditure or loss of funding? Accessing information regarding good practice o What information is currently available around risk and good practice? o What are other similar providers doing? o Where can you access further information? o What knowledge is held in house by Trustees, volunteers etc? Policies and procedures o What policies and procedures are in place – are these sufficient? Risk assessment o Identify hazard and risks specific to service delivery and review systems in place for managing risk – are they sufficient? o Draft a risk management table with review dates identified for all aspects of service delivery. o How will risk assessments be communicated to volunteers? o Are any changes in practice required as a result of the risk assessment process? o Have any training needs been identified as a result of the risk assessment process? Insurance o Check cover with insurers, ensure they are aware of the detail of volunteer roles. Staff Training and Development o Are staff sufficiently competent and confident to carry out their roles? o What training, development and support is offered to staff – does it meet their needs? Monitoring and Evaluation o How will feedback be gained from stakeholders on an ongoing basis? o How will the service ensure that it is being accessed by all sections of the community? o How will the service stay up to date with changes in policy/practice? o Are there any opportunities for external evaluation to be purchased in? o Can the organisation implement or work towards any current quality models? Involvement of volunteers Policies and procedures o What policies and procedures are in place that relate specifically to the involvement of volunteers – are these sufficient and how will they be communicated to volunteers? Risk assessment o How will risk assessments be communicated to volunteers? Insurance o Ensure volunteers are aware of cover that applies to their roles. o Car insurance – how will you ensure that all volunteers have appropriate documentation and cover? Recruitment and screening o What selection criteria are in place? o Are screening systems sufficient for the requirements for the requirements of the role? o Who would be excluded and why? o How many staff members are included in decisions regarding selection? o What will happen if one reference is unsatisfactory? o What convictions may preclude selection? o How will we ensure that we recruit from all sections of the community? Volunteer handbook/leaflet o Is information provided to volunteers regarding: The parameters of the role Expenses Health and safety including insurance cover Managing risk Out of hours contact details Recording Monitoring and evaluation Ending the relationship Leaving the organisation Task/role descriptions o Do task/role descriptions highlight appropriate skills/qualities? o Identify the parameters of the role? Volunteer agreements o Ensure expectations on both sides are outlined o Emphasise the voluntary nature of the relationship Training o Is this suitable for the role? o How will the training be evaluated? o Does it cover the key issues in relation to health and safety and risk management? Informing volunteers o How and what will volunteers be told about identified risk issues in relation to clients? Volunteer Supervision o What supervision will be provided to volunteers and how often? o How will this be recorded? o What response will be implemented for volunteers who fail to attend supervision? Volunteer Management o Who will manage the volunteers? o Are there sufficient resources for effective volunteer management? o Are staff sufficiently trained and competent in relation to managing volunteers? Client group Risk Assessment o In what ways will the clients views on risk issues be incorporated into service delivery? o How will clients be made aware of screening/selection of volunteers? o Where do clients access support in relation to concerns they may have? Referral and assessment o Which clients will be accepted for the scheme? o How will the referral criteria be communicated to potential referrers? o What referral paperwork is in place – does it provide sufficient information in relation to issues around risk assessment? o How will clients be assessed as suitable for the scheme? o What information will be provided to clients, parents/carers, referrers about the scheme and how the scheme operates? o What consent is required in respect of data protection issues and the sharing of information? o How will discussions take place with clients about how much information is shared? The mentoring/befriending relationship Matching o How will matches be identified? o What choices will volunteers and clients be given? o What will happen where matches don’t work out? o What action will be taken when matches break down? o What are the key issues that need covering in the matching meeting to ensure the parameters are understood? o What do both parties do if unhappy with match? o What issues relating to risk need to be covered in the matching meeting? Mentoring/Befriending agreements o Is a form required that identifies the parameters of the relationship for both parties? o What needs to be covered within the agreement? o Are both parties happy with content and understand the agreement? Monitoring the Relationship o How will records of contact be maintained? o How will records be data protected? o How much detail needs to be provided on records of contact that will not breach the confidentiality of the relationship? o How will volunteers/clients access these records? o What action will be taken where records are not being kept? o What action needs to be taken in an emergency by volunteers o What out of hours support can either party access? Ending the relationship o What timelines are in place for the relationship? o How will these be communicated and monitored on an ongoing basis? o What if the client continues to need support? o What are volunteers told about maintaining contact beyond the formal close of the relationship? o How will both parties be prepared for a positive ending?
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