Mentoring project for young women with children under their care
WORKSHOP LED BY MARTA BÀRBARA
Marta Bàrbara has been running the Maria Raventós Foundation for 4 years now, an organization that accompanies young women with dependent children under their care and who are at social risk, as well as teenage mothers in the field of child protection. In the past, Bàrbara had worked for 16 years with over-age youngsters that had been released from the tutor care system, many of them newcomers, with the Associació Punt de Referència. Throughout her career, she has led mentoring projects as a tool for social intervention and she was a promoter of the Coordinadora de Mentoria Social in its early days.
Marta Bàrbara has a Degree in Psychology. She has completed postgraduate training in child and family intervention in social difficulties, mental health and migratory processes, in NGO management and management, and she is currently pursuing a Masters Degree in Social Policy and Community Action.
For over 65 years, the Maria Raventós Foundation has been accompanying young women in vulnerable situations, especially those with dependent children, in the process of emancipation. We also accompany adolescent mothers in the context of child protection. Our action is based on the empowerment, personalization, and active participation of the women we accompany. We focus on fostering three key aspects of people’s lives: stability, links and empowerment.
The young women we assess come from a very vulnerable and highly complex social family environment, have fragile and unhealthy ties, and most have suffered from abuse or violence. They have a low level of education due to absenteeism and are at a time of confluence between adolescence/youth and motherhood, which they understand as a life project. They are also young people who are able to reflect on their own trajectory, with the ability to ask for help and with the stability they find in housing projects, regaining their motivation and strength to build a better itinerary for themselves and their children.
The Foundation has recently incorporated mentoring as an educational intervention tool to respond to the needs of young girls and to incorporate a community-based approach in our projects. The Foundation already has experience in mentoring through collaboration with other entities.
We count with two lines of mentoring: The first, Mentoring between adults and young people, which already has two editions with very significant results; and the second, Mentoring with equals which, with a first pilot test, proposes the accompaniment between women veterans and young women who have just arrived at the Foundation.
Mentoring follows a concrete methodological proposal and contributes to improving young girls’ competencies in terms of skills, maternal skills, emotional stability, and empowerment to combat potential new contexts of abuse and violence. It also has a clear impact on the reduction of social isolation among young women. The experience also has an impact on children, contributing to their better development, a more secure bond and a healthier mother-child relationship.