Elements of Effective Practice for Mentoring by the US-based National Mentoring Partnership offers research-informed and practitioner-approved best practices for creating and sustaining effective mentoring relationships and strong programme services. Their suggestions, based in research and practitioner input, are built around the six core standards of recruitment, screening, training, matching and initiation, monitoring and support, and closure.
To ensure successful recruitment, expectations of all involved should be managed by realistically describing aims and expected outcomes. All recruited to be involved should have the time, commitment, and qualities to produce an effective mentoring programme. Training should cover the requirements,expectations, obligations, relationship development, ethical and safety issues, available assistance, opportunities and challenges, mentor monitoring, appropriate conduct, activities, and policies. One method of good practice for this is for mentors to be able to learn from each other.
Pairing in the mentoring system should consider characteristics of the mentor and mentees, and an initial formal meeting with another staff member should be arranged to plan expectations. Consistent and frequent monitoring and support from supervisors is essential for the endurance of the mentoring relationship, which in turn improves effectiveness.
Mentor programmes are enhanced by using evidence to demonstrate effective methods and to be able to provide mentors with feedback as part of their ongoing training. A mentoring organisation should have standardised evaluation methods and monitoring processes which ensure a successful transition out of the mentoring relationship. One best practice is to have a theory of change which demonstrates how the mentoring program is effective, by demonstrating what are the inputs and what results from this.
Mentoring organisations are improved by making good use of advisory board, adequate staffing, data management, advocacy for mentoring, partnerships with local services/programs, to promote with welfare of young people and be a trustworthy service to act with integrity in promoting justice and respect for them equally.
“It is reassuring to learn that Evolve already adheres to the guidelines within this extremely useful report in terms of its mentoring practice.
We always use the latest research to inform our practice and we call on more organisations to use evidence based approaches, especially when reliable sources like this one are made freely available to practitioners.”
– John Bishop, Managing Director
To read the full report, click here.