COACH is a community strengthening program that aims to empower disadvantaged children, young people and families and build resilience in individuals through one-to-one mentoring. COACH stands for Creating Opportunities And Casting Hope.
COACH has a proven track record of bringing about transformation and aims to break the cycle of generational poverty and family breakdown. It also works well with young people, children and ex-offenders.
A COACH mentor is a friend with purpose, offering practical help and mentoring towards life goals. These goals include education, employment, training, improved mental health, reduction in addictive habits, financial management, housing, family cohesion, decrease in social isolation, and improved physical and emotional wellbeing. Mentoring is a way to bring out the best in people and help them make use of their own resources. It also promotes individual responsibility and builds community cohesion.
- Long-term sustainable transformation of communities, rather than focusing on individuals in isolation
- Goal focused, with at least 70% reaching significant goals
- High quality mentoring due to thorough screening, training and ongoing support of mentors
- Low cost due to the volunteer-based nature of the program
- A flexible model that works with family units and on a one-to-one basis with individuals, young people and ex-offenders.
Safety and Integrity
COACH is delivered to the community by volunteer mentors supported by COACH coordinators typically based in a church community. COACH has been developed with the safety of volunteers and participants in mind. This is underpinned by a simple but robust policy and procedural framework that includes risk management strategies, a thorough selection and matching process, and fourteen hours of mentor training with ongoing training and troubleshooting. Screening includes:
- Application form and structured screening interview
- Safeguarding or Working With Children Check
- Police check
- Three reference checks
- Additional checks for Youth COACH
COACH has been externally evaluated on two occasions by Monash University.