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A Strength-Based Approach to Mentoring

NCJ Number
Date Published

This toolkit provides information about the development of a program for Strength-Based Approach to Mentoring; it includes three modules to guide mentor practitioners in implementing the data-driven development of the enhanced practices recommended by the authors.


The authors present a Strength-Based Approach to Mentoring program, consisting of three modules: Pre-Match Mentor Training; Making the Match; and Enhanced Match Support. The program was developed through practitioner-researcher collaboration and was focused on identifying evidence-based practices in mentoring, specifically designed to support youth that have been impacted by parental incarceration. The authors’ research partners designed and implemented a random-assignment research study, partnering with 20 mentoring agencies across the US, while Youth Collaboratory defined a strength-based approach to mentoring which builds on a Positive Youth Development (PYD) framework for providing services to youth and their families. The desired outcomes were to help youth develop the internal resources that allow them to cope with adversity, demonstrate interest in pursuing education and career goals, and feel confident in their social literacy. The research portion of this project sought to examine how these specific program practices could lead to the desired outcomes. Development of the enhanced practices for this program was informed by research and field work, and rooted in the PYD framework with an intentional focus on strengths and assets. Information about implementing each of the enhanced practices along with some tools and additional information is available in the modules.

Date Published: January 1, 2020