January | February 2017

OJJDP Cosponsors National Mentoring Summit

OJJDP Acting Administrator Eileen M. Garry delivers remarks during the seventh annual National Mentoring Summit. OJJDP Acting Administrator Eileen M. Garry delivers remarks during the 2017 National Mentoring Summit.
“OJJDP is committed to making a difference in the lives of the nation’s youth,” said OJJDP Acting Administrator Eileen M. Garry during the seventh annual National Mentoring Summit. “Our goal is to keep them on track and out of the juvenile justice system in the first place. One of the ways we do that is by providing young people with quality, evidence-based mentoring opportunities.”

OJJDP joined MENTOR: The National Partnership, the Corporation for National and Community Service, and a diverse group of sponsors to host the summit, which took place on February 1–3, 2017, in Washington, DC. The event was attended by more than 1,000 mentoring practitioners, policymakers, researchers, corporate leaders, and representatives of youth-serving organizations.

In her remarks, Ms. Garry noted the long-standing support that the Office has maintained for evidence-based mentoring programs. “Since 2008, OJJDP has awarded nearly $770 million in grant funding for mentoring programs, mentoring-related research, and training and technical assistance,” she said. “In fiscal year (FY) 2016 alone, OJJDP awarded more than $77 million to support mentoring programs, including those directed to underserved populations, such as children of incarcerated parents, tribal youth, youth with disabilities, and children of parents on active military duty.”

Other FY 2016 mentoring grants included the Mentoring for Child Victims of Commercial Sexual Exploitation and Domestic Sex Trafficking initiative and Second Chance Act (SCA) grants of more than $2.5 million to strengthen the relationships between young parents and their children as the parents transition from correctional facilities back to their communities. The SCA grants fund programs that incorporate mentoring and reentry services, promote parent-child engagement, and teach effective parenting skills.

The Office’s FY 2017 Mentoring Opportunities for Youth Initiative will fund mentoring services to at-risk and high-risk youth, while its Mentoring Research Partners Program will improve the implementation and impact of the mentoring services OJJDP supports.

OJJDP’s mentoring research is helping to advance the field toward evidence-based practices for youth mentoring. During the summit, Jennifer Tyson, a senior social science analyst with OJJDP, led a session with David DuBois, Ph.D., professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago’s School of Public Health, and Roger Jarjoura, Ph.D., principal researcher at American Institutes for Research. During the session titled, “Does Having Mentors in Advocacy and Teaching Roles Matter?,” the presenters discussed results from OJJDP’s Mentoring Enhancement Demonstration Program. The program looked at 32 sites—each serving 75 to 100 youth—to evaluate the effectiveness of programs in which mentors serve as advocates and teachers. This developmental approach to mentoring focuses on building close relationships with youth to guide them toward activities and resources that will help them reach their full potential.

The 3-day summit featured more than 90 workshops, which touched on a variety of topics within the mentoring field, including research, effective practices, program models, and mentoring strategies for specific youth populations.


OJJDP's National Mentoring Resource Center offers a variety of research-based resources, including mentoring model/population reviews and a Measurement Guidance Toolkit to help programs measure outcomes more effectively. Visit the resource center online.

Mentoring programs have proven to be a promising form of support for youth with incarcerated parents. Read the OJJDP listening session report, Mentoring Children of Incarcerated Parents.

Additional information on OJJDP’s mentoring programs and resources is available on the OJJDP website.