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Understanding the Role of Parent Engagement To Enhance Mentoring Outcomes: Final Evaluation Report

NCJ Number
Date Published
June 2014
28 pages
This evaluation examined the impact of a parent mentoring intervention on the mentoring relationships with their children.
No significant improvements were found in outcomes for youth being mentored as a result of efforts to improve constructive parental involvement in the mentoring program. Researchers attributed this finding to a combination of factors, including the incomplete implementation of the intervention, missing data on a few of the youth outcome measures, and the smaller than expected sample. Still, parent orientation was well received; parents felt it was helpful, and their knowledge about positive parenting increased. General recommendations include ongoing communication with parents and mentors; consideration of new ways to contact and provide information to parents and mentors; decreasing staff turnover; avoid implementation pitfalls; and broadening the intervention to include efforts to increase socioeconomic cultural understanding among parents, program staff, and researchers. The Parent Engagement Model (PEM) was designed to engage parents in mentoring and to increase mentors' cultural understanding of families served by the program, which were minority families with low incomes. The PEM consisted of parent orientation to the methods and goals of mentoring, a parent handbook, mentor training for interaction with parents of mentored youth, match support on key topics, monthly post-cards for each topic, and biannual family events. The evaluation consisted of a quasi-experimental design that used a waitlist as the control group. Recruitment was conducted over a year, resulting in 125 study matches composed of youth and mentors; parents were included as study participants. Qualitative and quantitative data were collected, using intake data, surveys, a standardized youth outcome instrument (the Child Behavior Checklist), and instruments developed specifically for the evaluation. 1 figure, 6 tables and 27 references

Date Published: June 1, 2014