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Evaluation of the Mentoring Enhancement Demonstration Program

Goals and Objectives

The goals of this demonstration program are to detail what advocacy and teaching in a mentoring setting look like in practice (to help guide future OJJDP grantees and practitioners) and to understand whether encouraging advocacy and teaching in practice (not a specific program or curricula) could actually improve outcomes. The programs implement these enhanced mentor roles through several matching, training, and monitoring and support strategies.

For purposes of this program, advocacy or teaching roles are defined as those in which the mentor offers active guidance to the youth (teaching) or seeks to facilitate the youth's relationships with peers and/or other supportive adults and to support engagement with appropriate activities and resources (advocacy).

This should not be confused with an overly directive or authoritarian approach, which may cause potentially harmful outcomes in youth mentoring. It is also not a therapeutic, counseling, informational/instructional, or explicit skill-building, such as a job skills, approach.

It is, instead, a developmental approach to mentoring in which the mentor's role is to actively foster the development of the youth. The mentor functions in a way that actively helps the youth reach his or her full potential. Under this approach, the mentor builds a close relationship with the youth in the context of providing appropriate guidance in combination with enhancing the youth's access to key resources and supports outside of the relationship.

The study consists of 10 programmatic grantees, and each grantee includes a collaboration of 3 or 4 implementation sites, for a total of 32 implementation sites that serve 75 to 100 youth each. The study includes a process evaluation, which is also examining the quality of implementation, and a random assignment outcome evaluation.

Next: Milestones

Date Created: March 11, 2020