What is Youth Mentoring?

Youth mentoring provides a structured and trusting relationship that brings young people together with caring individuals who offer guidance, support and encouragement.

Youth mentoring programs can vary in their delivery but there are some common key elements that define youth mentoring.

Youth mentoring:

  • Empowers young people to develop to their fullest potential
  • Is a strategy to develop active community partnerships
  • Is voluntary for young people and mentors
  • Fosters caring and supportive relationships
  • Involves positive role modelling not counselling
  • Is ‘safe’ for all involved

Coaching and tutoring are not mentoring. Mentoring focuses on the relationship while coaching and tutoring focus on skills, performance and targets.

Youth mentoring is an effective way of providing young people with a supportive and enriching experience. The evidence shows that youth mentoring positively impacts on the lives of both young people and mentors.

Mentoring programs require hard work and a commitment to quality practice. Quality mentoring programs require good planning, clear evaluation, strong governance and solid operating procedures.