7h1iii - MATCHING: Best Practices

Information Gathering for Monitoring and Support

The format below mirrors the critical elements of effective mentoring relationships identified in mentoring literature. Each question is not required to be asked for each contact, however, each section should be assessed at each contact. Program staff should ask a selection of questions from each category for each contact. When selecting the questions to ask, consider 1) the length of the relationship, 2) the age of the mentee and 3) the type of program in which they are involved. The questions in each section are intentional in that they have been tested and determined as effective in eliciting the information necessary for effective match support.


Topic: Activities

WHAT TO ASK MENTORSAbout Activities
WHAT TO ASK YOUTH/GUARDIANS About Activities
ASSESSING MATCH ACTIVITIES Click to See

Topic: Consistency

Regular contact has been linked to positive youth outcomes indirectly via its role in affording other desirable processes to take root in the mentoring relationship.

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🔑Key is that the young person feels that s/he can rely on the mentor.🔑

It is unlikely that a mentor will be able to follow through on every match activity, every time. Consistency implies, though, that the youth understands what can be expected and feels unperturbed when match activities are cancelled.

WHAT TO ASK MENTORSAbout Consistency
WHAT TO ASK YOUTH/GUARGIANSAbout Consistency
ASSESSING MATCH CONSISTENCY Click to See

Topic: Connectedness or Closeness

At the crux of the mentoring relationship is the bond that forms between the youth and mentor.

🔑Key is that the relationship is progressively getting closer within clear parameters.🔑

There must be opportunities for building an appropriately close relationship in order for the mentor and youth to become comfortable with each other and to learn about each other. Feelings of closeness progress over time and the mentor should be encouraged to build closeness at a pace that is responsive to the youth's comfort and their own.

Without comfortable closeness, the relationship will not work or last.

WHAT TO ASK MENTORSAbout Closeness
WHAT TO ASK YOUTH/GUARDIANSAbout Closeness
ASSESSING MATCH CLOSENESS Click to See

Topic: Youth-centredness

Youth-centredness captures the mentee's perception that he or she and his or her concerns are the focal point of the match.

🔑Key is how the mentor engages the young person.🔑

Mentors need to understand that this is a relationship that is unequal in power by virtue of age. Mentors must assume greater responsibility to initiate and structure the interaction while being responsive and attuned to the needs and interests of the youth.
WHAT TO ASK MENTORSAbout Youth-centredness
WHAT TO ASK YOUTH/GUARDIANSAbout Youth-centredness
ASSESSING MATCH YOUTH-CENTREDNESS Click to See

Topic: Structure (goal setting)

🔑Key is the balance of structure, boundaries and support.🔑

The relationship needs to demonstrate a balance of fun activities mixed with an appropriate amount of seriousness. The youth needs to know that s/he can experience both within parameters.

WHAT TO ASK MENTORSAbout Structure
WHAT TO ASK YOUTH/GUARDIANSAbout Structure
ASSESSING MATCH STRUCTURE Click to See

Topic: Duration and Expectations

🔑Key is that the relationship lasts the intended period of time.🔑

Meeting reasonable and expressed expectations of all parties is critical to the relationship lasting as long as it was intended. It is likely that the mentor will not feel appreciated or understand his/her impact without the program staff's intervention.

WHAT TO ASK MENTORSAbout Expectations
WHAT TO ASK YOUTH/GUARDIANSAbout Expectations
ASSESSING MATCH DURATION / EXPECTATIONS Click to See

Topic: Update

WHAT TO ASK MENTORSDuring Updates
WHAT TO ASK YOUTH/GUARDIANSDuring Updates
ASSESSING MATCH UPDATE INFORMATIONClick to See

Topic: Safety

ASSESSING MATCH SAFETYClick to See