Long Creek Volunteer/Mentor and Chaplaincy

Volunteer Office

The Mission of the Volunteer Office at Long Creek Youth Development Center is to develop and strengthen community relationships, allowing us to provide enrichment programs and support to our residents, thereby enabling the residents the opportunity to become responsible and contributing members of their communities upon their release. It is our belief that the youth we serve are not defined by their mistakes, but by their potential for the future. We are committed to helping our residents therapeutically, academically and socially so that they may become positive community members. This is a big job and we could not accomplish all we do without the help of volunteers.

Ways to get involved:

Mentoring Mentoring is a structured and trusting relationship that brings young people together with caring adults who offer guidance, support and encouragement aimed at developing the competence and character of the resident.  Mentors spend 1 hour per week being a friend to a Long Creek resident.  The mentor may act as a sounding board, a listener, a guide to setting goals, a role model or a support person. Ideally, mentors and residents remain together for the remainder of the resident's time at Long Creek Youth Development Center.
Tutoring Our residents have a wide variety of educational needs.  Often times, school has not been a successful place for them and they have not had regular attendance.  Our tutors offer one-to-one educational support to help build academic skills and confidence in the residents at Long Creek.
Alcoholics Anonymous Drugs and/or alcohol have played a significant role in the lives of most of our residents.  There are AA-focused mentors and AA-facilitated meetings.
Recreational Support Our recreation department facilitates many activities for the residents and can always use volunteers to support its programming.

Often, community members call us with ideas for new programming.  We welcome the opportunity to explore all possibilities that may positively impact the youth we work with.

Volunteer Eligibility Qualifications

  • Minimum age requirement of twenty-one years, unless you are a post-secondary student involved in a school project at Long Creek.
  • Holds a valid license or state identification card.
  • Has not had visiting privilege or volunteer status suspended or terminated at any correctional facility, unless an exception is approved in writing by the Superintendent.
  • Is not a family member, friend or relative of a resident, unless an exception is approved in writing by the Superintendent.
  • Is not currently under the supervision of the Department of Corrections and has had no involvement with the Department for at least one year.
  • Completes the Volunteer Application and screening process (including criminal background check, reference verification, and new volunteer orientation) required by the facility.

Please contact Stephanie Netto, Chief of Volunteer Services, at (207) 822-2605 or stephanie.netto@maine.gov if you are interested in learning more about volunteer opportunities at Long Creek.

Chaplaincy Service Visits

When a resident asks for a visit from their clergy in community a visit is coordinated. Social workers or Unit Managers are contacted to be assured that parents have indicated their approval and support before a visit is scheduled. In addition to worship services for Protestant and Catholic Christians, other faith groups have met when there have been enough residents to form a group and also a representative of that faith are willing to lead a group.

Concerts, guest speakers, worship bands and movies with a positive message are sponsored by the Chaplain's Office. In addition to worship experiences and study groups the chaplain provides individual pastoral care and counseling for life and faith issues. The chaplain provides individual support for residents that want or need grief and loss counseling. Social workers may contact the chaplain's office requesting such support at the resident's request. The chaplain will accompany residents attending funeral services when it is requested and approved by the facility.

With the help of area clergy, trained volunteers and mentors, the chaplain seeks to provide religious values based education and nurture the personal growth of individuals. It is our purpose to see the practice of faith and spirituality integrated into daily life empowering residents to succeed and flourish when they return to their community.