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Definition approval

When completing the mentor application, applicants are asked to give a definition for each of the following: emotional abuse, physical abuse, and sexual abuse.  Ideally, applicants' definitions would show an understanding of different types of abuse thus enabling them to recognize potential incidents of abuse in a mentee’s life and react appropriately. They may also show whether the mentor applicant has appropriate boundaries and a proper maturity level.  Sometimes definitions show that a mentor applicant does not know enough about abuse. On occasion, a not viable definition may indicate that the applicant has unresolved personal issues that could potentially impact their ability to be an appropriate mentor.

Definitions should:

  • Be textbook-like and contain an actual definition vs subjective opinions, personal experiences and inappropriate displays of emotion
  • Be complete and show that the applicant put some thought into their answers
  • This can be very gray but when it’s clear, shows appropriate objectivity and conveys understanding of abuse, it’s correct.

If definitions meet these criteria, mark definitions as "Approved" in Salesforce.

Definitions should not:

  • Include references to personal experience or history of abuse 
  • Contain explicit or offensive language
  • Again, this can be very gray. A person with a personal disclosure or subjective opinion often shows they understand and can identify abuse but per our protocol, an appropriate, objective definition must be what’s on record. 

Not sure about a definition?

If an applicant’s definitions are incomplete, otherwise inappropriate or too brief to determine whether they have a sufficient understanding of abuse, mark them as “needs new definitions” in Salesforce. Then follow-up with the mentor applicant for a new definition- there is an email template in the Salesforce email widget. A best practice is to read the definitions as soon as possible once an application is put into your ownership following orientation. That way, you can ask for a new definition in the day after orientation email.

The most common reason definitions are marked as “needs new definitions” are because they are incomplete or too brief. For example, a mentor might write simply “Hitting or slapping” as the definition for physical abuse. While it is not incorrect, it is not comprehensive enough to show that the mentor fully understands the concept thus potentially hindering their ability to take appropriate action on their mentee’s behalf as needed.
 If the definitions contain disclosures of past personal experiences with abuse, or if a screener suspects that the definition may indicate some past experiences with abuse, they should follow up with their supervisor to determine what follow-up action is needed. Please refer to this article about disclosures for more information.

If a screener reads a definition and it feels too personal, inappropriate, graphic or causes some other discomfort, it may not be viable and should be flagged, discussed with their manager and brought to the next Screening Weekly.