Special Needs Adoption and Permanency Services

OUR MISSION: To support children in foster care who have special needs, to decrease the time they wait for permanent families, and to expand the geographical boundaries in which the best adoptive families may be found.

Please note: Ads that appear above are a fundraising tool used by SNAPS. They are not an endorsement by our staff, nor by our Board of Directors for any of the services offered. We neither choose nor control what is listed there. PLEASE BE CAUTIOUS. DO NOT use adoption or referral agencies that are not licensed in your state.

YES Mentor Program

SNAPS, Inc. is pleased to offer the YES (Youth Empowered to Succeed) Mentor Program to support teens as they wait in termporary care for an adoptive or guardian family. These services are available in Idaho's Treasure Valley (Southwest Idaho).

The youth we serve are, for the most part, available for adoption or guardianship. They benefit from an adult who is positive, who listens and who is consistent with monthly visits, as well as other communication (cards, e-mail, phone calls, text if available).   

He or she needs:

  • A safe, adult friend to listen and care.
  • To feel he or she makes a difference in the world.
  • Hope for a successful future.
  • Safe & fun places to spend free time.
  • Opportunities to interact with other teens and mentors.

Statistics and Research

A Research Brief published by Child Trends and titled "Mentoring: A Promising Strategy for Youth Development" found that youth who participate in mentoring relationships experience a number of positive benefits.

Educational achievement: mentored youth have better attendance; a better chance of going on to higher education; and better attitudes toward school.

Health and safety: mentoring appears to help prevent substance abuse and reduce some negative youth behaviors.

Social and emotional development: mentoring promotes positive social attitudes and relationships.

Watch the KTVB segment on mentoring, to find out how some mentors and mentees have benefited from their participation in this unique program.

Watch part of Jaydon's Mentor story on KTVB's Viewpoint (from April '13)

View the KTVB Mentor Program segment (from July '09).

View the YES Mentor Program FAQs


To become a mentor you will need:

  • A background check completed through the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare (download application intro packet for details).
  • A valid driver’s license, clean driving record, and proper insurance
  • The ability to make a one year commitment to the program
  • An orientation and bi-annual training, provided by SNAPS, Inc.
  • Participation in quarterly group activities and consistent one-on-one contact with your mentee.


Children and adults in the YES Mentor Program participate in quarterly group activities that include recreation, cultural enrichment, service, education, and just plain fun! Some of the activities that YES participants have enjoyed are: Idaho Steelheads hockey game, Boise Hawks baseball game, Starlight Mt. Theater, horseback riding, bowling, game night, corn maze, ice skating, Ballet Idaho and much more!

Mentor-mentee pairs get together individually at least once a month, and have weekly phone or e-mail contact with each other. SNAPS supports each mentor relationship through a new mentor orientation, trainings, and anytime access to a local mentor coordinator.

Become a Mentor

Mentors are needed now in all of the communities of the Treasure Valley (Ada and Canyon counties). If you are ready to become a mentor, download the application packet, fill it out, and return it by email, fax, mail, or make an appointment to hand deliver it. For more information, visit the FAQs page.

If you still have questions or need additional information, please contact: Marti Wiser at wiserm@snapsinc.org or call 208 345-6646. 


click here to download and print an application packet.

Download Adam Walsh State Contacts file.