When recruiting female ex-offenders, it is important to be clear about the role and speak about the opportunity well in advance which gives a woman the chance to make a decision. You want women to be encouraged to progress towards the role of being a Peer Mentor and therefore the role of mentor could be built into an early action or support plan. It is important for women to have an opportunity to consider the role.
Looking to recruit women that reflect the make-up of service users is important in order to have an easier matching process in the future.
Using a collection of testimonials and case studies for female offenders often provides other women with real accounts of the volunteering and mentoring process. These stories give women a situation of a peer that they may be able to place themselves in. Be sure to include reasons why they became a mentor, their fears about becoming a mentor and how they found the experience.
An interview is a good opportunity to discover the suitability of the application but also the training needs which can guide the design of the training. The interview also provides an opportunity to set out what the organisational expectations of commitment, legal requirements and aims of the organisation are.
Best Practice Guide
- Developing a role description will distinguish the role from others while laying out roles and responsibilities.
- Developing a clear application form will allow an organisation to capture individual information prior to the interview that will show skills and life experiences.
- Encourage existing mentors or service users to take part in volunteer and mentor interviews and inductions.
- Include positive images of women in your literacy and within your facilities.