Frequently Asked Questions
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Frequently Asked Questions From Parents and Caregivers

How do I get my youth involved?

Call: It’s simple—call Starting Point at 216-575-0061 and tell them what neighborhood you live in and some basic details about the young people in your family, like their ages and interests, or your supervised childcare needs. You can also visit their online Positive Activities database. Starting Point will make you a customized list of activities and programs in your area that fits your family’s needs, and you can choose to follow up with anything on the list that sparks your interest.

Join: If you are the parent or caregiver of a teenager whom you think would be a good leader, call Neighborhood Leadership Institute at: (216) 812.8708. Ask about joining the MyCom youth groups, young leaders who are at the center of a youth movement for positive change.

Browse: Or simply direct the young person in your family to a website for youth: www.getitfacts.org. They can browse around and see what sparks their interest.

Are there requirements (age, etc.)?

MyCom resources are for every youth in our neighborhoods—regardless of age, income, interests, or background. You might notice that most of the resources you find through MyCom are for the older child (that’s because our area has a Child Wellbeing Plan that covers all ages, and MyCom is the part of the plan for school-age and adolescent youth). But the people of MyCom will connect you to the right resources for your needs.

Are there restrictions (residency requirements, etc.)?

Individual programs and resources have individual rules. But a goal of MyCom is to include all youth in our neighborhoods, not to exclude or restrict anyone.

What if my child has special needs?

MyCom links your family to the resources that are right for you. Call Starting Point at 216-575-0061 and talk to their staff about the needs you have, and they will find the resources.

What if my child’s been in trouble?

Often, a youth who is struggling needs what MyCom aims to provide: caring adults from their neighborhood and activities that will inspire and prepare that young person for the future. How many success stories have you heard that start with “If it weren’t for Mr. So-and-So, I wouldn’t be where I am today,” or “If I never found basketball/chemistry/camping/etc., I don’t know what I would have done”? Call Starting Point at 216-575-0061 and talk to their staff about the needs you have, and they will find the resources that might be the spark that ignites your child’s bright future.

Does MyCom make any guarantees as to quality, safety, etc.?

No. MyCom is not a regulatory body—meaning that the people and organizations in the MyCom network do not license or appraise individual activities, providers, etc. MyCom is providing this listing of programs for informational and reference purposes only. MyCom does not endorse or recommend these programs and is not responsible for the services or activities offered or engaged in by them. Starting Point, which provides the majority of the referrals to neighborhood activities, believes that parents are best able to choose and evaluate care for their children because they know their children’s needs best. Starting Point cannot recommend or guarantee a particular child care or activity setting.

Starting Point makes every effort to supply you with current information on providers, but cannot guarantee providers’ capabilities. However, efforts are made to give you the information needed to fulfill your responsibilities for evaluating and selecting providers and monitoring their performance. Since selecting a provider is a subjective decision, you should interview several providers to determine which you and your family feel is best. If you experience problems with a provider or have questions or concerns, contact a Starting Point parent counselor at 216-575-0061 (Local), 1-800-880-0971 (Toll Free), or 1-800-750-0750 (TTY).

Has MyCom researched agencies and/or background-checked volunteers?

No, though Starting Point collects a wealth of information about local resources, including some information about staff background, activities, accommodation of special needs, cost, and more. Referral counselors at Starting Point (216-575-0061) can give you information about programs or activities that are available and Greater Cleveland Volunteers (216-391-9500) can provide information about volunteer opportunities, but it is up to the individual programs and families involved to do the research or background checks. MyCom is not responsible for the services or activities offered or engaged in by programs.

What is expected of the parents?

Children and adolescents don’t grow up in programs; they grow up in families within communities. MyCom aims to link families more effectively within their own neighborhoods so that a family can stay safe, well and close to home. A MyCom parent or caregiver is engaged, interested, and involved in their child’s success. These are some of the ways parents and caregivers might be involved:

  • Calling Starting Point at 216-575-0061 to find close-to-home activities that fit a child’s interests or strengths
  • Participating in family activities or events within the community
  • Sharing a “success story” based on a young person’s experience with MyCom
  • Giving input on improvements to services, programs or information through community forums, surveys, or other means
  • Volunteering to be the caring adult for other youth in the neighborhood Leading or participating in community MyCom governance

Does MyCom provide transportation or transportation vouchers, etc.?

No, but individual programs or services might. Make sure to ask this question when you are inquiring about activities near your home. Starting Point (216-575-0061) may be able to provide some of this information about a program near your home; for example, some programs offer school pick-up.

How do I know I’ve found a MyCom agency?

The MyCom network of youth services and opportunities is all about making good use of what already exists within our communities, and enhancing those opportunities. We want to make it easier for you to find close-to-home activities and opportunities that fit your child’s needs. Sometimes, you’ll get there because you heard about MyCom and took the steps to get involved, sometimes you’ll get there in a different way. It doesn’t matter, as long as you are finding what you need. And if you are NOT finding what you need, MyCom wants to help bridge that gap.

 

Frequently Asked Questions From Volunteers and other Caring Adults

How do I get involved?

Potential volunteers can contact Greater Cleveland Volunteers via the phone (216-391-9500) or online (www.greaterclevelandvolunteers.org). Greater Cleveland Volunteers helps connects volunteers to a variety of volunteer opportunities, including those with MyCom.Potential volunteers can enroll with Greater Cleveland Volunteers through an enrollment form. In addition, they are encouraged to attend a new volunteer orientation to learn more about possible serving opportunities. Orientations are held during the weekdays, during daytime and evening hours. Greater Cleveland Volunteers offers a variety of opportunities, including ongoing opportunities at over 200 non profit agencies, as well as one-time only or short-term assignments.

Do I need special skills, talents, experience, etc.?

No special skills, talents or experiences are needed to make a difference for a young person. Come as you are! Volunteers complete a skills checklist during the enrollment process with Greater Cleveland Volunteers. This allows them to be matched to a volunteer opportunity that will meet their skills, talents and availability. Personalized placement is offered by the Greater Cleveland Volunteers staff.

Will I be background and/or drug checked?

Greater Cleveland Volunteers does not typically background check or drug check potential volunteers. However, many of the agencies that Greater Cleveland Volunteers refers volunteers to do screen volunteers in this manner. Each partner agency has its own requirements on the type of screening/application process that they utilize.Are there restrictions? (residency, criminal record, etc.)There are no restrictions, other than that volunteers need to be age 18 and over.

How much time do I need to donate?

Greater Cleveland Volunteers offers volunteers a variety of volunteer opportunities. Some require as little as a few hours every few months.

How will I benefit?

Volunteering has been proven to improve the lives of the volunteers as well as the agencies in which they serve. By enrolling in Greater Cleveland Volunteers, all volunteers will receive free supplemental excess liability insurance. In addition, all active volunteers will receive an annual birthday call in addition to receiving a quarterly newsletter, which will provide them with up to date information on upcoming volunteer opportunities.

What if I have physical limitations or other special needs?

Greater Cleveland Volunteers is able to refer volunteers, with physical limitations or special needs, to a variety of volunteer opportunities. The partner agency that the volunteer is referred to may have opportunities available to people with special needs or physical limitations.

Are there age requirements?

All volunteers need to be age 18 or over.

How can I learn about/screen volunteer opportunities?

Volunteer opportunities can be discussed by calling Greater Cleveland Volunteers, at 216-391-9500. These opportunities are also discussed at the new volunteer orientations held on a regular basis. A reservation for an orientation can be made by calling the Greater Cleveland Volunteers office.

Does MyCom provide transportation or transportation vouchers, etc.?

Greater Cleveland Volunteers does not offer transportation. Some partner agencies may choose to offer these services.Frequently Asked Questions From Agencies and Organizations

What are the benefits of joining the MyCom network?

Joining the MyCom network means that an organization has access to support, training, promotional power and professional development opportunities. The goal is to allow your agency to deliver quality programs and services to the greatest number of eligible youth. Call the Family & Children First Council at 216-698-2875 to find out about MyCom grants, training opportunities and other supports.

What are the requirements?

To join the MyCom network, you must be eager and ready to adopt a new way of doing business. We are pulling resources together to make a supportive infrastructure for the youth of our neighborhoods—partnership and collaboration are the keys to success. To learn about the current opportunities and their requirements, call the Family & Children First Council at 216-698-2875.

 

Frequently Asked Questions From Agencies and Organizations

Will my agency and/or employees be background checked?

Different opportunities have different requirements. To learn about the current opportunities and their requirements, call 216-812-8707.

Does it cost anything?

There is no dollar cost to joining the MyCom network, but there is a “cost” of the change to the way you might be doing business now. To learn more about what this means, and how your organization’s programs might be energized and supported by joining the MyCom network, call 216-812-8707 and request a meeting to discuss your organization’s opportunity to join MyCom.

What’s the procedure for registering?

Currently, any registration of programs for the MyCom network is done face-to-face. Contact 216-698-2875 and request a meeting to discuss your organization’s opportunity to join MyCom.

Who are the partners in the MyCom network?

Many excellent people and organizations have stepped up to be involved in MyCom, including the initial eight neighborhoods of Central, Cudell/West Boulevard, Mt. Pleasant, Parma, St. Clair-Superior, Shaker Heights, Slavic Village, and West Park. Some of our other partners and leaders include The Cleveland Foundation, Starting Point, and Voices for Ohio’s Children. Not finding what you need? Call the MyCom line at 216-812-8708.