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Parent Mentor Training


I am thrilled that you are interested in becoming a parent mentor. I am so appreciative of your willingness to give your time and heart to helping the families of St. Jude. Now it’s time to begin you training. This webpage with built to be a resource to prepare you for your new role.

By participating in a program such as this, you will be walking with other parents going through a similar journey as your own. This can bring up feelings, thoughts and emotions that you may not expect. In an effort to prepare you as well as give you time to process these thoughts and feelings, we have created a workbook for you to complete prior to your in-person training. Please know it is imperative for you to read and complete this workbook cover to cover before training. Please bring the workbook with you to orientation as you will be provided a binder to insert the pages. Throughout the day, you will hear presentations from several staff members and seasoned mentors who will facilitate group discussions. You will also be given the opportunity to share your St. Jude story with the other parents. You can begin thinking about how to share your story in a group setting where each new mentor will have 3-5 minutes to share. There is a section in your workbook to help you with this.

I am looking forward to meeting you and am thankful for your interest in working with St. Jude families during a time that only you know all too well. Please contact me by phone or email if you have any questions or concerns.

See you soon!

Brittany Barnett, MS, NCC, CAVS
Manager, Patient Family-Centered Care

Brittany's address and phone number

Betsy's Story video

Betsy's Story

Wendy's Story video

Wendy's Story


If you have any questions while completing this workbook, please email  Don’t forget to bring your completed workbook with you to orientation!

  1. Download and complete the Parent Mentor Training Workbook.

  2. Position Title: Parent Mentor 
    Issue Date: 2/2014; Review Date: 10/2015, 5/2016; 5/2017; 7/2018
    Objective: Serves as a PFCC adviser providing support to parents as a PAIR mentor throughout treatment, H Clinic Mentor and/or a QoL mentor once curative treatment is no longer an option.
    Hours: Hours vary greatly depending on the number of mentees enrolled. 


    • Adult parent or caregiver of a St. Jude patient.
    • Commitment of at least 1 year of service at the discretion of the PFCC staff
    • For PAIR Mentors, the patient must be at least 1 year off active therapy. For QoL Mentors, must be at least 2 years from the anniversary of the child’s death. H Clinic mentors vary in terms of treatment. See program coordinator for specifics.
    Training: Successful completion of PFCC orientation, parent mentor training, and any other on-boarding activities as requested. Completes annual PFCC and volunteer training.
    • Has an independent work initiative
    • Possesses exceptional verbal, written and interpersonal skills necessary for communication with parents, documentation of encounter forms and additional St. Jude activities
    • Has the ability to relate to and work with people of diverse age and demographic backgrounds. 
    • Can collaborate with a multi-disciplinary team
    • Possesses a sound understanding of the concepts of PFCC
    • Is skilled in organization, problem-solving, negotiation, active listening, empathy, and compassion
    • Respects and protects the confidentiality of patients, family members and employees at all times and in all circumstances
    • Is flexible and adaptable in unique and challenging situations
    • Timely and appropriate contact with the mentees enrolled in the program along with completing necessary documentation and reporting expectations
    • Be available to read and respond to St. Jude emails at least once a week
    • Potentially participate in additional St. Jude activities as a parent adviser
    • Participation in formal or informal debriefing is strongly encouraged
    • Participation in self-review


  1. St. Jude has many services and resources available to patients and families. Learn more by reading the guide below.

  2. The mentee is approached by a St. Jude staff member regarding a mentor. If the family accepts, the following will occur:

    • Brittany will match the mentee with the mentor that is most appropriate for that situation and the mentee’s needs.
    • Brittany will send the mentee a note translated in Spanish welcoming them to the program, introducing them to their mentor and providing their phone number. A translated mentor brochure and Brittany’s contact information will be included.
    • The mentor will be sent the match form as usual. The mentor is encouraged to contact Brittany with any questions regarding mentoring a Spanish speaking mentee.

    Mentoring by phone

    If the mentor chooses to call the mentee:

    • Dial 1-800-481-3293
    • Enter account number 501-018-098
    • Enter pin number 9876 and follow the prompts. The automated voice will say:  “To make a call to another phone number and add an additional person, say ‘Yes’ or press 1." After the interpreter greets you, give the name of the person you are calling and press “star 1.” There is a chance that the interpreter will ask for the patient’s MRN.
    • The interpreter will ask you if you would like to leave a message if the mentee does not answer. You will say yes and will want to say something like, “My name is___ and I am your mentor. I would like to find a time that you and I can speak on the phone through an interpreter. Please call or text me with a time that works best for you. My number is _____.”
    • Mentors, you can hear the interpreter and the mentee as if it was a 3-way call. Remember to speak in short, slow sentences for the interpreter. Keep in mind, the mentees have most likely been using this system quite a bit working with travel and housing.

    If the mentor would like to text their mentee

    • It is best to use the phone interpreter and talk with your mentee by phone as much as possible. However, we understand that texting is best for some mentees. If this is the case, you may use Google Translate. Please make sure to inform the mentees that you will be using Google Translate and that if something doesn’t sound right, that is why.

    Here are some common phrases.

    • “Hi, my name is ___. I am your mentor. I would like to set up a time to talk with you using an interpreter because I don’t speak Spanish. Will you text me a time that works best for you? I will be using Google Translate when texting you so please keep this in mind if I say something that does not make sense.”
      • "Hola, me llamo ______. Soy su mentor.  Quisiera fijar una hora para hablar con usted por medio de un intérprete porque no hablo español. Cuando le envie mensajes de texto, estaré usando Google Translate.  Entonces tenga esto en cuenta si escribo algo que no tiene sentido."
    • “I’ll call you (now).”
      • "Te llamo."
    • “I wanted to let you know I am thinking of you today.”
      • “Quiero decirle que está en mis pensamientos.”
    • “I am here for you if you would like to talk.”
      • "Yo estoy aquí para cuando guste platicar.”

    If your mentee chooses to contact you by a phone call without an interpreter.

    • Once you recognize it is your Spanish-speaking family calling, you can respond with “Te voy a llamar” which means “I’ll call you back”. You will then follow the steps above and use an interpreter.

    Mentoring face-to-face at St. Jude

    If the mentor chooses to meet their mentee in person, the mentor can use the video interpreter on the laptop. The cart can be found at any clinic and inpatient unit. If you are unable to locate it, please check with a staff member such as a nurse or scheduler. There is also a multi-user iPad in Brittany’s office that is available for use as well. All mentors will be trained on how to use this system by Brittany before their first encounter.

    • Touch the computer screen to begin (or use the mouse depending on the computer)
    • Choose the language (Spanish)
    • The patient’s MRN number will be requested. If you do not have this, it is ok.
    • The interpreter appears on the screen and is ready to interpret. Note – it is helpful to the live interpreter to know the possible content of the session. Examples may include: if the mentor is meeting the family for the first time, the family has just received bad news, or if the mentor is aware that there has been conflict with staff.
    • The mentor will look at the mentee while speaking, not at the device.
    • There are options on the video such as pulling the curtain to not see the interpreter or for the interpreter to not see the mentor and mentee, requesting a male or female interpreter, or requesting a different interpreter due to dissatisfaction.

    If the video interpreter is unavailable, the mentor can use the blue phone located in all clinics and inpatient floors.

    Follow the instructions located on the blue phone. A live interpreter will not be used except in special circumstances.

  3. Prepare for any meeting by reading these helpful guides!

  4. Need to hop on a Webex meeting? These guides can help you participate to the fullest.

  5. Check out these documents if you are logging into your St. Jude email for the first time or need some help with your password. You can also call the St. Jude helpdesk at 901.595.2000

  6. Check the meeting agenda and additional PFAC info on Microsoft Teams. These documents can help you get started.