This past week, my mentee and I went to work on the other aspects of her Individual Transition Plan (ITP). Over burgers and chilli poppers we talked about her strengths, developed some plans that explore them and then set up a bit of accountability to make sure she sticks to her goals of achieving them.
The idea was to brainstorm a few objectives for each of the ten domains. Just as a reminder, the domains are:
- Work & Money
- Sport & Recreation
- Family & Community
- Living Situation & Citizenship
- Education & Learning
- Physical Health
- Social Health
- Cognitive Health
- Emotional Health
- Identity Health
The strengths are the abilities, interests, passions and goals. The plans that are formed from these goals must be Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, Realistic and Time‑bound (SMARRT). Then, the accountability part is really about checking in to go over what has and hasn’t worked.
I think what can be overwhelming about this process is that depending on your mentee’s age and development, some of these domains seem completely irrelevant. The point, however, is to see how they touch your mentee’s life no matter what the circumstances.
Take Work & Money as an example. I’m tempted to think, well, my mentee doesn’t have a job, doesn’t pay for things, doesn’t have a bank account so how can I help her set up a plan for this domain? While your mentee might not be employed or earning an income yet, they may be getting a small allowance at their home for their toiletries. Or, maybe they don’t. Maybe the home provides them with their toiletries once a month so the mentee doesn’t actually know how much those things cost. This is a great place to start. Walk through a shop and look at the different prices of deodorant and see what brands offer the best value.
Maybe just talking about work and money will give your mentee a chance to say how they feel about the subject – perhaps they’ve had bad experiences with money, where it’s all a loved one thought about, or maybe they’re scared of not having any. You probably won’t find an answer that solves everything during your discussion, but you will certainly gain some insight into how your mentee is feeling. If certain domains seem to cause anxiety or worry when you bring them up, unpack that and see what’s there. As I’ve found every week, the only conversation that isn’t worth while is the one that you and your mentee didn’t have.
Thanks for reading,