Mentor/Mentee Training and Relationship Support Resources

October 2009

The following resources, developed by our National Mentoring Center project, can help mentoring programs prepare both volunteer mentors and the youth they serve for their mentoring experience. These materials can be useful in both pre-match training and ongoing training that helps participants build mentoring skills over time.

Training New Mentors

A comprehensive guide to providing mentors with initial training, complete with over a dozen ready-to-use training activities. This is an excellent resource for giving your program's mentors a solid foundation to build their relationships on.

Building Relationships: A Guide for New Mentors

This resource is a great mentor training supplement, providing mentors with ten simple tips for effective relationship development. The guide is filled with real quotes from mentors and youth about the value of mentor traits such as active listening, being positive, and giving youth a role in selecting activities.

Preparing Participants for Mentoring: The U.S. Department of Education Mentoring Program’s Guide to Initial Training of Volunteers, Youth, and Parents

This guide teaches programs how to deliver a thorough training session for new mentors, as well as how to prepare new mentees and their parents for participation in the program. It begins with expert advice on structuring and preparing to deliver training, including principles of adult learning, room set up, and building an agenda. It also provides sample agendas and a number of ready-to-use training activities that will give mentors the skills they need early on as they start building trusting mentoring relationships.

Ongoing Training for Mentors: Twelve Interactive Sessions for U.S. Department of Education Mentoring Programs

This training guide provides 12 ready-to-use training activities that can enhance mentor skills and support them in their relationships with youth over time. Each activity lasts 45 minutes to an hour and comes complete with facilitator notes and handouts. Topics covered include setting boundaries with youth, exploring culture and identity, helping with homework, effective communication, and working with the mentee’s family. Some programs may choose to adapt several of these activities for pre-service mentor training or for preparing youth for their mentoring relationship.

Training New Mentees: A Manual for Preparing Youth in Mentoring Programs

The preparation of youth for the mentoring experience is an often-overlooked aspect of program success. This guidebook features age-appropriate agendas and training activities, as well as sample content for a Mentee Handbook.

Guide to Mentoring for Parents and Guardians

This customizable Word template for a parent handbook can help programs alleviate the many concerns that parents of mentees might have about your program, as well as providing advice for parents on how they can encourage their child's mentoring relationship. See also the "How to Use" guide.

Involving Parents in Mentoring Programs (Fact Sheet)

This fact sheet explores ways in which mentoring programs can more proactively involve parents of participating youth.

Overcoming Relationship Pitfalls (Fact Sheet)

This fact sheet explores the typical cycle of a mentoring relationship and the common stumbling blocks that can occur along the way.

Managing Risk After the Match Is Made (Fact Sheet)

This fact sheet examines strategies for supervising and monitoring matches over time, an especially critical risk management task for school- and community-based programs.

Understanding the Youth Development Model (Fact Sheet)

This is the first in a three-part series of fact sheets exploring the connections between youth development principles and mentoring strategies.

Putting Youth Development Principles to Work in Mentoring Programs (Fact Sheet)

This fact sheet explains how mentoring programs can build youth development philosophies into the delivery of their services and the mentoring activities they provide participants.

A Mentor's Guide to Youth Development (Fact Sheet)

Third in the series of youth development fact sheets, this issue explains to mentors how they can apply youth development strategies in their interactions with their mentee.

Avoiding Early Match Termination (Fact Sheet)

This fact sheet, based on the research of Renee Spencer at Boston University, explores reasons why mentoring relationships tend to fail, often with disastrous consequences for youth participants. Strategies for avoiding these issues are also explored.

Helping a Grieving Mentee: A Mentor’s Ultimate Expression of Caring and Support (Fact Sheet)

This fact sheet explores strategies for supporting mentees who have experienced a death in the family or other substantial trauma in their lives.

More Than Saying "Thank You": Comprehensive Approaches to Mentor Retention (Fact Sheet)

This fact sheet provides strategies for volunteer recognition and match support that can keep mentors engaged with your program for years to come.

Engaging Matches in Volunteer Service (Fact Sheet)

Service projects can be an excellent enhancement to any mentoring program or relationship, and this fact sheet examines how programs can build a service component into their mentoring activities.

Enriching the Mentoring Experience Through Ongoing Mentee Training (Fact Sheet)

While programs often provide extensive ongoing training for mentors, mentees can also benefit from training in support of their mentoring relationships over time. This fact sheet examines strategies for providing this ongoing training to youth participants.

Building Lasting Matches Through Quality Training and Support: Powerhouse Foster Youth Mentoring Program (Case Study)

This case study of the Powerhouse program in Portland, OR shows how they have structured services to place a premium on long-lasting matches, which have been shown to result in improved outcomes for youth participants.