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Supporting Mentors

NCJ Number
Date Published
This manual provides guidelines and suggestions for developing and implementing program strategies that support mentors, help them build trusting relationships with their mentees, and contribute to positive outcomes for the mentees.
The first section of the manual examines approaches for monitoring and supervising mentors. It advises that ongoing monitoring and supervision of mentoring relationships is essential, so that program staff and mentors can identify any problems and take steps to remedy them. This involves the scheduling of regular contacts between a staff member and the mentor, the youth, and perhaps the youth's parent, guardian, or teacher. Issues discussed include the frequency of staff-mentor contacts, the questions mentors should be asked during contacts, and the kinds of problems likely to occur. The next section of the manual offers suggestions for in-service training and other forms of ongoing mentor support. Topics for in-service training are listed, and the characteristics of mentor support groups are discussed. The latter involve the provision of a structure within which mentors can discuss their frustrations and problems with others who have faced similar challenges. Guidance is also provided for closure in a mentoring relationship that is ending. The concluding section of the manual describes strategies for recognizing mentors' accomplishments, both individually and collectively. Checklists are included to help guide planning, along with descriptions of additional resources.
Date Created: July 30, 2014