What is a Family Mentor?
A Family Mentor has lived experience as a caregiver of a current or former Holland Bloorview client. They are passionate about providing helpful tips and offering peer support to other families. Our Family Mentors are trained Family Leaders who draw upon their personal lived experiences to support other Holland Bloorview families.
How do Family Mentors support other families?
Families will have the opportunity to connect with Family Mentors in an online Family Support Network group as well as through virtual or in-person one-to-one peer support sessions. Some of the areas that our Family Mentors are able to discuss with you could include their experiences around:
- Navigating hospital and community services
- Finding caregiver and/or sibling support
- Adjusting to a new diagnosis or new normal
- Managing mental health and wellbeing
- Accessing financial supports
- Preparing for return to home after a hospital stay
- Supporting their child’s transition to adulthood
- Advocating for their family’s needs
More information about Family Mentors
A Family Mentor is a trained Family Leader (lived experience volunteer) who provides peer support to caregivers, parents, and families with a child who is receiving or has received services at Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital.
Family Mentors draw from their personal experiences as a caregiver, parent, and/or family member of a loved one who has received or is currently receiving services at Holland Bloorview. They use their experience to: provide helpful tips, form meaningful connections, and foster a community of peer support. They represent a diverse range of lived experiences and backgrounds.
Family Mentors receive tailored and in-depth training to ensure that they meet the organizational standards around respecting personal boundaries, privacy, and confidentiality. They also receive training on cross-cultural communication, communicating with empathy, and resource navigation.
- Talk to someone who understands the caregiver experience
- Share your thoughts and feelings in a safe space
- Learn practical tips and strategies that other families have found helpful
- Improve comfort with knowing what services and programs are available at Holland Bloorview
- Increase confidence in speaking up for caregiver and child’s needs
- Access shared resources, ask questions, and connect with families in an online community
At this time, Family Mentors are only available to families and caregivers of current or former Holland Bloorview clients.
- Complete the online request form here. The form asks for information about your situation, as well as your preference for online or in-person mentorship. This information will be kept confidential and will be used to match you with an available mentor.
- After completing the form, you will be contacted by a member of the Family Leadership Program team to confirm your request. If needed, staff may ask further details about your request.
- Once the Family Leadership Program staff has confirmed your request, they will connect you with one of our trained Family Mentors to arrange the first meeting.
- For more information, please contact email@example.com
The HB Family Support Network (FSN) is a private, moderated Facebook group created to provide a sense of community and support for families and caregivers of kids and youth who currently receive or have received services from Holland Bloorview.
This online community:
- Provides a supportive online space for families and caregivers to ask questions, share common lived experiences, seek advice and access resources
- Shares information on family workshops, events, practical guidance, resource navigation tips and relevant community resources
- Connects families, who are in search of 1:1 peer support, with a trained family mentor from Holland Bloorview
To join the HB Family Support Network group
- All parents, caregivers, and family members of current and former Holland Bloorview clients are eligible to join.
- If you do not have a Facebook account, you will need to create one in order to join the group.
- Visit our Family Support Network (here, or scan the QR code below).
- Request to join the group and complete the membership questions.
- An admin will review your request and be in touch if there are additional questions.
Go to the HB Family Support Network - please visit here, or scan the QR code below.