Section Five - What Is Mentoring

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MENTORING YOUTH IN / FROM CARE

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Youth mentoring can be defined as the relationship between a caring, more experienced individual(s) and a less experienced person resulting in the provision of support, friendship and constructive role modeling consistently over a period of time.vi Mentoring happens in a number of different contexts and ways. Some of the differences between mentoring programs include:

  • Informal/casual to formal relationships.
  • Goals or intent – career development, academic achievement, personal development, cultural or faith based growth, teaching life skills etc.
  • Settings – community, school, workplace or online.
  • The number of mentees – one to one, group, family or community sessions.

Mentoring occurs as natural mentoring, when a sustained relationship develops naturally between a coach, teacher, neighbour, or other adult and a young person, or as planned mentoring, when a relationship is purposefully created to help a young person who may otherwise not have the access he or she needs to the wisdom and support of a caring adult.

Types of formal mentoring and how they are commonly defined:

ONE TO ONE What is it?
E-MENTORING What is it?
PEER MENTORING What is it?
TEAM MENTORING What is it?
GROUP MENTORING What is it?

Source: Compiled from Mentoring School Age Children (1999) by Public/Private Ventures and MENTOR/National Mentoring Partnership, Understanding Mentoring Relationships (1992) by the Search Institute, Elements of Effective Practice, second edition (2003), MENTOR/National Mentoring Partnership, and The Connecticut Mentoring Partnership, Business Guide to Youth Mentoring.

vi Big Brothers Big Sisters of Canada, Measuring Reach, 2014