The Promise of CARING ADULTS: Mentorship’s Return on Investment

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The Alberta’s Promise commitment of Caring Adults is the promise “to provide support and guidance to children and youth through mentoring, coaching and volunteering.”

Caring adults can be parents, extended family members, and informal mentors such as coaches, teachers and business leaders. Being a caring adult is a powerful way to lend support to kids. The relationship between caring adults and children and youth helps kids develop self-esteem, confidence and the social skills they need to be successful. Kids who do not have a caring adult in their life are  vulnerable to difficulties. Formal mentoring programs can help to fill these gaps. These programs involve a structured relationship where mentors and mentees  meet with the support of a mentoring program.

Research has shown the many benefits of mentoring for children, including:

  • improvements in academics
  • improvement in social skills
  • preventing youth participation in negative behaviours such as aggression, bullying and classroom misbehaviour

Researchers are also looking at the long term outcomes of mentoring on high school graduation rates, employment rates, and earnings of former mentees. A study by The Boston Consulting Group for Big Brothers Big Sisters Canada looked at the return on investment for mentoring. They compared the life outcomes of 500 formerly mentored to 1000 non-mentored adults. Results show:

  • it costs an average of $5,059 to mentor a child
  • mentored adults earned $315,000 more
  • return on investment was $18 for every $1 invested
  • among the most disadvantaged mentees, return on investment was $23 for every $1 invested

The economic benefits of mentoring included increased tax revenue from formerly mentored adults, increased consumer spending as well as greater charitable donations and volunteerism.

Get involved and realize the value of a great investment in children and youth.

Businesses can support mentoring by:

  • Including mentoring in your community investment strategy
  • Sharing information about mentoring with employees
  • Launching a workplace mentoring program so mentees can meet with their mentors at work
  • Being flexible to employees adjusting their work schedules so that they can mentor
  • Sharing mentoring success stories with colleagues to encourage fellow businesses to take on similar efforts

Research Website: Visit | Article Published: 01/07/2014