Toolkit on Effective Mentoring for Youth
Facing Barriers to Success

Best practices and resources to build, strengthen, evaluate and sustain effective mentoring programs for youth considered at high-risk of under education, unemployment, homelessness, criminalization, and other negative outcomes.

Mentoring Models & Program Types

Informal Mentoring

“We would like to get to know each other organically” (Youth Arts Action Group Youth Consultation)

Instances of mentoring can occur through short-term and unstructured ‘mentoring moments’, or more structured, longer-term relationships, such as:

  • natural mentors: where youth are exposed to persons who act as mentors in their natural environment (e.g., school bus drivers or community volunteers);
  • content mentors: where youth have brief, content-based interaction with a trusted person they look up to (e.g., guest speakers); and
  • program mentors: where youth are exposed to a mentor through a structured program (e.g., a homework club or summer camp).1

 

Informal Mentoring Roles that Adults Play in the Lives of Youth1

Formal Mentoring

Formal mentoring occurs in the context of an intentional, planned mentoring arrangement. MENTOR offers this definition:

“Mentoring takes place between young persons (i.e., mentees) and older or more experienced persons (i.e., mentors) who are acting in a non-professional helping capacity to provide relationship-based support that benefits one or more areas of the mentee’s development” (p. 9).2

There are various models of formal mentoring. The chart below presents some of the most common types of formal mentoring programs.3

TRADITIONAL

ONE-TO-ONE

TEAM MENTORING

GROUP MENTORING

PEER MENTORING

E-MENTORING

DESCRIPTION

One adult to one young person. Several adults working with small groups of young people (adult-to-youth ratio not greater than 1:4). One adult to up to four young people. Caring youth mentoring other youth. Mentoring via e-mail and the Internet (ex: social media).

WHERE MENTORING TAKES PLACE

Agency-based: At a community agency, typically an after-school program (e.g., youth centre).

Community-based: The mentors and mentees can meet anywhere, including attending events, going to museums, etc.

Faith-based: Mentoring pairs usually meet in a house of worship or adjoining building.

Online: E-mentoring is a mentoring relationship that is conducted via the Internet.

School-based: At the mentee’s school in full view of school officials. Mentors and mentees should have a designated meeting place within the building and/or use of available school facilities (open classroom, computer lab, gym, art room, library).

Workplace-based: At the mentor’s workplace. Students are typically bussed to the site, which is paid for by the school district or the company. Mentors and mentees should have a designated meeting space at the workplace.

Agency-based: At a community agency, typically an after-school program (e.g., youth centre).

Community-based: The mentors and mentees can meet anywhere, including attending events, going to museums, etc.

Faith-based: Mentoring teams usually meet in a house of worship or adjoining building.

Online: E-mentoring is a mentoring relationship that is conducted via the Internet.

School-based: At the mentee’s school in full view of school officials. Mentors and mentees should have a designated meeting place within the building and/or use of available school facilities (open classroom, computer lab, gym, art room, library).

Workplace-based: At the mentor’s workplace. Students are typically bussed to the site, which is paid for by the school district or the company. Mentors and mentees should have a designated meeting space at the workplace.

Agency-based: At a community agency, typically an after-school program (e.g., youth centre).

Community-based: The mentors and mentees can meet anywhere, including attending events, going to museums, etc.

Faith-based: Mentoring groups usually meet in a house of worship or adjoining building.

Online: E-mentoring is a mentoring relationship that is conducted via the Internet.

School-based: At the mentee’s school in full view of school officials. Mentors and mentees should have a designated meeting place within the building and/or use of available school facilities (open classroom, computer lab, gym, art room, library).

Workplace-based: At the mentors’ workplace. Students are typically bussed to the site. Either the school district or the company may pay for the bus. Mentors and mentees should have a designated meeting place at the workplace.

School-based:
At the mentee’s school in full view of school officials. Mentors and mentees should have a designated meeting place within the building and/or use of available school facilities (open classroom, computer lab, gym, art room, library).
Conducted via the Internet, as an independent program or as an additional component of existing programs.

Need to have technology in place that provides a safe and secure environment for communication exchanges, archives all messages, and enables the tracking of communications between mentoring pairs.

 

 


  1. Connected Mentor (2014). The Connected Mentoring Framework. Retrieved from: http://connectedmentor.com/framework/
  2. MENTOR. (2015). Elements of effective practice for mentoring, 4th ed. Retrieved from http://www.mentoring.org/new-site/wp                   content/uploads/2015/09/Final_Elements_Publication_Fourth.pdf
  3. MENTOR. (2008). Informational overview of types of mentoring programs. Retrieved from http://www.mentoring.org/downloads/mentoring_479.doc
Funding provided by the Ontario Ministry of Children and Youth Services