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.

Effective Mentoring Program Components & Implementation

This section of the toolkit provides detailed information on best practices and promising practices for each of the main steps or components of a mentoring program for youth:

“In good times they still check up on you, in bad times they check up on you more.”
(Youth Arts Action Group Youth Consultation)


Mentoring can help foster a deep connection by “just getting along with [the mentor] and understanding each other. Being able to trust them” (Covenant House Youth Consultation)

Each section contains the following information:Youth

  1. Standard: From the Elements of Effective Practice for Mentoring™ and other research-based guidelines, these are evidence-based best practices for creating and sustaining high-quality mentoring programs, and mentoring relationships that are safe and linked to positive outcomes for participants.
  2. Benchmarks: From the Elements of Effective Practice for Mentoring™ and other research-based guidelines, these practices must be followed in order to meet the Standard noted above.
  3. Other Findings & Considerations: These are other promising and innovative practices, trends, research findings, and recommendations worth noting and considering.
  4. Key Tools & Resources: Other reports, websites and online resources that contain useful, user-friendly tools, and templates for you to explore. 

These generally apply to all mentoring programs, but the way you use the information will depend on the setting and/or the population served. Program staff are encouraged to be thoughtful, thorough and creative in finding effective ways to meet each standard within their context and in response to their community’s needs.

Funding provided by the Ontario Ministry of Children and Youth Services