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Group Mentoring for Resilience: Increasing Positive Development and Reducing Involvement in the Juvenile Justice System

NCJ Number
Date Published
July 2018
94 pages
This project, "Mentoring Best Practices," examined the effectiveness of group mentoring in improving developmental outcomes for youth at risk for involvement in the juvenile justice system, and it developed an operations manual for the replication of the Project Arrive model.

Project Arrive is a group mentoring initiative of the San Francisco Unified School District's (SFUSD's) Early Warning Indicators System (EWI), which identifies students who are at high risk of dropping out of school. There is strong evidence that the EWI effectively identifies youth at risk for school dropout and associated problems, including juvenile offending. Project Arrive was developed as a group mentoring program to address the developmental needs of at-risk youth identified by the EWI. Group mentoring provides a structure for increasing positive social networks of participants under the guidance of adults and the cultivation of positive peer interactions. Several recent studies have shown that group mentoring is associated with positive outcomes for children and adolescents across age, socioeconomic status, academic performance, ethnicity, and gender. The evaluation data for Project Arrive indicate positive effects of group mentoring participation for several resilience assets and a reduction in academic risk factors. Findings identified the importance of the role of positive relationships with mentors and group climate in contributing to positive outcomes. These outcomes were linked with smaller group sizes; however, group characteristics such as gender and ethnic diversity of mentees was less important. Mentors and mentees reported several critical program practices, including rituals and routines, relationally focused sessions, co-mentors, and a flexible curriculum. A web-based manual was developed to provide a convenient and interactive means of guidance in implementing and evaluating a replication of Project Arrive. 12 tables 7 figures, 37 references, and appended methodological material

Date Published: July 1, 2018