Start your Community Based Mentoring Program

Quality mentoring is mentoring that produces significant, lasting, positive outcomes for mentees. It is responsible, ethical, effective mentoring. Mentoring programs come in all shapes and sizes but there are some key components that help to ensure quality and that the needs of the mentee, volunteer mentor, organization and community are fulfilled.

Mentoring a Unique or Diverse Population?

If you are working with a unique or diverse community please supplement these steps with the tools and resources included in the sections below. These additional tools have been developed to support mentoring programs with immigrant, refugee, Indigenous youth and youth in care.

Key steps to develop a Mentoring Program and related Tools

Below you can find a multitude of tools and resources to help you create a mentoring program along with more specific resources to help bring your program to the next level, including considerations for crating mentoring programs for special populations. You can also download the Creating a Quality, Community-Based Mentoring Program Toolkit package as a .zip file.

Download the Toolkit! (.zip)

Strength-Based Mentoring: Nurturing the social-emotional development of children and youth

Rather than focus on problem behaviours and risks, strength based mentoring helps youth realize their strengths, identify and develop their leadership skills, and apply them in healthy, productive ways.
Use this toolkit to strengthen your mentoring program and help mentors look beyond problem behaviours to kids’ strengths.

Strength Based Mentoring - IntroductionWhat enables some children and youth to do well in life, to successfully navigate life’s challenges and to feel hopeful about the future in spite of adversity, while others are over-whelmed or uncertain? Research has determined that the one clear difference between these two categories of young people is the presence of a significant mentoring or supportive adult influence in their lives that enhances their strengths, resources and ability to thrive in the face of life’s inevitable challenges.

Download: Strength-Based Mentoring: Introduction

Strength-Based Community Mentoring - A Practice Guide For OrganizationsRather than the traditional perspective of engaging young people with a problem orientation and risk focus, a strength-based approach seeks to understand and develop the strengths and capabilities that can transform the lives of people in positive ways. The strengths approach, like mentoring itself, recognizes that prevention is only one part of an integrated approach that looks at what all people need to mature in healthy ways. Although focused on developing the wholeness of young people, this approach does not ignore the critical role prevention and intervention in addressing the risks and significant challenges many young people face. Instead, it highlights the strengths and capacities in and around a person that are critical to their well-being and how these protective factors can be nurtured and enhanced. The challenge that faces community mentoring programs that wish to embrace a strength-based approach to working with people is the reality that you cannot give anything away that you have not experienced yourself. Developing and sustaining a strength-based approach throughout the culture of an organization. This requires commitment and leadership that reflects and models its principles. It is about having a strength-based way of thinking, describing and practicing that is consistent and purposefully supported by every one.

Download: Strength-Based Community Mentoring – A Practice Guide For Organizations

Strength-Based Community Mentoring WorkbookLiving a strength-based approach, as described on page 4 and 5 of the Strength-Based Community Mentoring Guidebook, involves thorough self-reflection and assessment. A strength-based organizational review means examining programming, decision-making, planning, supervision, communication, marketing, evaluation/tools, administration and training/ orientation. The following self-reflection questions are a good starting point to gauge where your organization is at.

Download: Strength-Based Community Mentoring Workbook

Strength-Based Mentoring - A Practice Guide for MentorsThis manual is your practical guide to strength- based mentoring and building on the strengths of your mentee. Along the way, you’ll probably find that you learn more about and build your own strengths as well.

Download: Strength-Based Mentoring – A Practice Guide for Mentors

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