Guardians talking

About Freedom to Speak Up Guardian Mentors

Volunteer Freedom to Speak Up Guardian Mentors are guardians who help  newly appointed Freedom to Speak Up guardians reflect on their experience, helping them to identify any learning and support needs through discussion and guidance as they progress in their role.

Reflective conversations will help to ensure that Freedom to Speak Up Guardians understand the role expected of them and that they are getting, or know how to access, the support they need to perform it effectively.

 

About the Freedom to Speak Up Guardian Mentor role

Volunteer Freedom to Speak Up Guardian Mentors aim to support at least one Freedom to Speak Up Guardian. Guardians have varying amounts of time available, so we welcome and encourage Mentors to support as many Guardians as they feel able to, while not setting unrealistic expectations. Mentors and mentees are also welcomed to have an ongoing relationship for as long as they both would like.

Expectations

  • The volunteer Freedom to Speak Up Guardian Mentor will work in partnership with the National Guardian’s Office to:
  • Aim to support one or more newly appointed Freedom to Speak Up Guardians
  • Act as a role model for speaking up and a champion for the National Guardian’s Office
  • Seek guidance and support where necessary
  • Share intelligence and learning
  • Help inform National Guardian’s Office learning, strategy and direction

Outcomes

  • Freedom to Speak Up Guardians understand the requirements and expectations of their role
  • Freedom to Speak Up Guardians understand the wider support on offer and how to access it
  • Enhanced support for Freedom to Speak Up Guardians
  • Improved communication and engagement with the National Guardian’s Office
  • Promoting the Speaking Up culture and strengthening the network of Freedom to Speak Up Guardians across England

Essential skills and experience

  • An existing Freedom to Speak Up Guardian with a minimum of 12 months’ experience in the role
  • Registered on the National Guardian’s Office public directory
  • Recording and submitting quarterly data to the NGO
  • Demonstrable experience of having reached level 3 across the Freedom to Speak Up Guardian Education and Training Guide competency matrix.
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills
  • Strong relationship building skills
  • Knowledge and experience of using different IT packages

Ongoing support

Freedom to Speak Up Guardian Mentors attend a training workshop and regular network meetings facilitated by the National Guardian’s Office.

This provides an important networking opportunity to meet with peers and share learning.  Working together will help improve the overall support offer for Guardian colleagues, as well as helping to inform any future training and support needs.

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About the reflective conversation

The initial reflective conversation needs to happen within four months of completing Part 1 Foundation Training and Mentees will log the date of the conversation on their Guardian profile.

The conversation may last approximately 30 to 45 minutes and cover:

  • any questions arising following completion of the e-learning module about training or aspects of the Freedom to Speak Up Guardian role and its expectations
  • How guardians are meeting the proactive and reactive expectations of the role including recording cases and submitting quarterly data
  • support available including ring-fenced time, having a space to see people; a case management system; health and wellbeing support and an understanding of the various options of ‘external’ support on offer
  • Engagement with the regional and national Freedom to Speak Up agenda via mechanisms such as the NGO Freedom to Speak Up Guardian bulletin and other important communications
  • Connections with a buddy, network(s) and network Chair(s) and attendance and active participation in Freedom to Speak Up Guardian networks locally and/or nationally.
  • Cases received (maintaining confidentiality) and feedback from workers and response to any personal learning and development identified.
  • Freedom to Speak Up Guardian values
  • Interaction with the Freedom to Speak Up Guardian Education & Training Guide

How do I contact a Mentor?

Once you have completed the elearning, you will  be given access to the Guardian only area of the website where contact details can be accessed by registered Guardians.

Freedom to Speak Up Guardians are prompted to identify, select and contact a Mentor to arrange a telephone call, a virtual or in person meeting within four months of completing the e-learning module of foundation training.

Mentees will make a note of their conversation and log the date and name of the Guardian mentor on their Freedom to Speak Up Guardian profile page. 

Confidentiality

Volunteer Freedom to Speak Up Guardian Mentors respect confidentiality of Mentees in the same way as they would if supporting someone speaking up to them

  • Mentees are expected to maintain their own reflective logs of conversations and will update their National Guardian’s Office training log with the name of their Mentor and date of their initial conversation
  • Mentors will share themes arising from conversations for learning and improvement purposes
  • The National Guardian’s Office will periodically review information on its systems and contact Mentors and Mentees for verification purposes