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Mentoring

Special Feature
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Overview

A relationship with a mentor can be a valuable resource for young people as they seek guidance during critical moments in their life. Many young people have access to mentors, either through their family or community organizations, but many more do not.

To support youth who face challenges in their positive adolescent development, research has shown that mentoring programs can improve self-esteem, academic achievement, and peer relationships.

The typical youth mentoring program recruits, screens, and trains older or more experienced adults or teens before matching them with youth referred to the program. The staff then provides support as the mentor and youth spend time together on a regular basis.

The Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP), in partnership with MENTOR: The National Mentoring Partnership, launched the National Mentoring Resource Center (NMRC) website in January 2015. This online resource provides research-informed mentoring tools and information, program and training materials, and technical assistance to help local programs and practitioners improve the quality and effectiveness of their mentoring efforts.

In 2020, the NMRC released new resources exploring the effects of mentoring as a strategy to prevent delinquent behavior and as a deterrent to substance use.

Additionally, the NMRC and OJJDP’s Model Programs Guide present evaluation findings from the more than 50 mentoring programs across the country assessed under the National Institute of Justice's Crime Solutions research evidence standards; and provide comprehensive reviews of the research literature on mentoring.

Celebrated every January, National Mentoring Month is a nationwide campaign that aims to recruit mentors and focus national attention on the importance of those working together to ensure positive outcomes for youth.

Visit the following pages for additional mentoring information and resources from the Office of Justice Programs and other federal sources:

Date Modified: January 07, 2021
Date Created: August 18, 2020