The Sensei account comes in two flavours: The Selfling Sensei and The SPOT Sensei. The Selfling Sensei moderates the main news feed on the Selfling Teen Support App and the SPOT Sensei either works or volunteers with an existing agency and who has previously selected them to register and speak to others on their behalf.
On the network, they are indistinguishable, but you can find out who a Sensei is aligned with by viewing that person’s profile.
A special opportunity to teen service volunteers we have created the Sensei account.
The Sensei membership account is intended for concerned individuals that want to make a difference in a young person’s life but maybe don’t have a lot of time in their day to day lives. Or, maybe you are really handy with chat and social networking and being available for some vulnerable youth in short bursts throughout your day is just up your alley! As a Sensei, you will scan the news feed and keep an eye out for any young people who seem to be looking for answers. That’s where you can let them know about the agencies in their community that can help with a specific issue. If a relevant agency is a SPOT Society member, you can loop that agency in on the conversation if that teen is comfortable.
This is no small feat, helping teens become comfortable with reaching out for help. Depending on what the subject is (i.e. substance, abuse, sexuality, self-harm, etc.), the correct approach could take a lot of time, at best. The worst case scenario is that teens don’t reach out at all and an issue goes unaddressed.
This is why training is incredibly important. Our Selfling Sensei – the app’s specific moderators – must be trained at a minimum of ASIST (Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training) – or equivalent – from an accredited institution (i.e. The Centre for Suicide Prevention in Calgary). This training will help a Sensei if a teen appears to be in crisis, particularly if they’re at risk of suicide or self-injury.
The Sensei will give his or her best effort to help the teen decide to reach out. This is not intended to be a counseling position. The intention of the Selfling app is to help build stronger connections between teens and the professional, trained, and certified services available to them. Selfling does not replace those services and nor do volunteers registered as Sensei under the Selfling Teen Support Foundation.
Sensei also moderate the app for inappropriate or disrespectful behaviour. While all members have the ability to flag inappropriate posts for review, the Sensei has the opportunity to reach out to a Selfling who is not using the app properly (i.e. a bully) and try to use diplomacy to convince that Selfling to consider a different approach when talking to people. In a later version of Selfling, we would like to be able to isolate Selflings (teens) with particular challenges engaging on the news feed and put them in direct contact with someone who can help them figure out what the underlying issue behind their behavour might be. We don’t want to ban users outright unless absolutely necessary.
We want to inspire the confidence in teens – and their parents – that there are responsible and compassionate adults moderating Selfling’s network.
Sensei will be required to submit to an application process that administration is finalizing throughout the beta testing phase. Volunteers should expect to submit verifiable references and possibly even a Police Information Check (PIC in Calgary).
The SPOT Sensei is a Sensei account holder that has registered in association with the agency that they either work or volunteer with. SPOT Sensei may moderate on the app at their leisure but they are primarily in the app to talk to teens about the services their agency provides. In a soon to be released newer version, we hope to provide agencies with their own separate groups that can help them keep discussions specific to their mission separate from the main news feed. This will allow their Sensei to moderate their own news feed and provide a more direct path from app to service for vulnerable Selflings.
Safety is very important for the Selfling Teen Support Foundation, so we have made it impossible to register an agency without prior verification nor can anyone register as a Sensei without the permission of the Selfling Teen Support Foundation or another teen support agency.
We highly value volunteers who take their time to help their community. We also know that dedicated volunteers will understand the commitment the Selfling Teen Support Foundation has taken to the safety of the teens on the app. Selfling administration will take every precaution possible to verify a person’s identity before approving an application and the procedure might take a little while. We simply request the patience of our prospective Sensei. The reward for that patience is to have a lasting positive impact on the development of a vulnerable young person and to be part of a growing movement with the potential to have international impact.
Anyone interested in more information on the Sensei membership account should reach out via our Contact Page.