Our values and directing principles
This begins at the first contact with the teenager and lays foundations of the coming relation between the teenager and the Mentor-Escale team. We are therefore very attentive to the fact that the teenager feels welcomed and that his/her enrolment with Mentor-Escale be an opportunity to re-create contact between an institution and as well with the people working there and the young people who come there.
Listening to the young person in all its dimensions is a basic principle on which holds Mentor-Escale. We avoid the given ideas on what a Foreign Unaccompanied Minor can be in Belgium. In the opposite way, in the philosophy of Mentor-Escale, it’s about listening to the teenager without apriori and try to understand what is his/her situation and what their plans are. We want most of all to try to see what the teenager is going through, what preoccupies him or her. The objective is to work with him/her from their preoccupations while being guided only by their major interest.
The principle of confidentiality is a corollary for listening.
Teenagers whom we receive must be assured that their histories and problems will not be told to other young people or to the third parties without their authorization.
We consider education of a teenager in the wide manner, meaning not only to make sure his/her fundamental needs are assures but also to put him or her face to face with his (her) tasks, and to show the consequences of their choice and to put the limits.
Different members of the team do their possible to make sure they acquire various competencies which are indispensable to their development and autonomy. We try since then to involve the teenager into the started process. We insist on a real collaboration between the teenager and us, because it is that collaboration that makes him/her an actor for the paperwork to do and will make him have the power to act, to make decisions and solve his/her problems.
Activation of skills and resources, positive reinforcement
The young boys and girls who arrive at Mentor-Escale have multiple resources and skills. Throughout our support, we make sure help them be more active and enable young people to be aware.
We also bring a positive reinforcement to these young people. This reinforcement offers a basis for the various people who intervene. Our interdisciplinary approach indeed allows us to activate it in various fields. It is also necessary to help the young person to know his/her weaknesses, to understand them more and put in place strategies in order to live better with them.
Taking into account the reference system of the young person
Upon their arrival, the Unaccompanied Minors are faced with a new culture, which can cause culture shock. At Mentor-Escale, we ensure that that children and adolescents do not forget where they came from. They can express it and share how life happens in their culture of origin as well as the way of life in Europe. Knowledge of the cultural reference system of young people and their place within their home environment can help to understand how youth work in the host country.
Inter-disciplinary and collegial environment
At Mentor-Escale, the accompaniment of the young people through the different professional approaches, that’s what makes us be a team.
We consider the young person as fully part of the environment to which he/she belongs. His follow up cannot therefore be separated into several parts (social, administrative, psychological, educational…) but should be considered as a one case at a time.
Inter-discipline is the basis of our methodology. Every day, it goes through informal exchanges between the different professionals who make the team. More formally, weekly team meetings allow workers to consult in respect about a young person, each of the members of the team bringing his specific lighting. This working method allows enhance an attitude of cooperation and mobilization around the young person in all its complexity.
In Mentor-Escale, we develop a systemic approach. We ensure, in the apprehension of a situation to give an important place to the environmental factors, rather than focus on intra psychic aspects of the life of the person.