Quality Practice Checklists
These checklists provide a practical guide to ensure you have a quality youth mentoring program.
These were originally printed in ‘A Guide to Effective Practice for Mentoring Young People’, 2007, Office for Youth, Department of Planning & Community Development’
Please click on the links below to access a checklist for each topic:
1. Vision, Purpose and Values
Articulating the vision, purpose and values of your program will clarify your group/organisation’s common interest and purpose.
2. Policies and Procedures
Program policies and procedures are critical to the effective management of your program.
3. Establishing a Program Budget
Mentoring is often viewed as a ‘cheap program’ because of the reliance on volunteer mentors, but there are significant costs that should be taken into account when preparing program budgets.
4. What to look for in a Coordinator
The Program Coordinator is responsible for overseeing the development and implementation of the mentoring program – they need to have a diverse range of skills.
5. Recruitment of Mentors
When recruiting mentors, develop a list of characteristics, skills and experience that will be valued by your potential mentees and target your recruitment efforts accordingly.
6. Recruitment of Mentees
When recruiting mentees the selection process should be seen by the young person as a positive opportunity, not a punishment or a ‘branding’.
Orientation to the program is important for both mentors and mentees. Orientation may occur separately or jointly for mentees, mentors, parents and others depending on the nature and focus your program.
8. Mentor Screening
Mentor screening aims to highlight potential mentors who are committed and skilled as opposed to those whose influence may be harmful to the mentee or program.
9. The Mentor Training Program
Before embarking on mentor training, volunteers must have attended orientation and submitted their mentor application documents. Mentors should ideally complete their training before being matched with a mentee.
10. The Matching Process
The needs and interests of the young person are paramount in the matching process. Having appropriate matches is crucial for the individuals and the success of the program.
11. Building the Relationships & Networks of Participants
Mentoring meetings where mentees, mentors, staff and other volunteers attend are an important way to develop trusting relationships and networks.
12. Supervision and Support
Supervision and support is critical (particularly early in the match) to support the building and sustainability of the relationship. It also enables program staff to monitor and deal with any safety issues.
13. Acknowledging and Supporting Contributions
Acknowledging and supporting the contributions of participants keeps mentors and mentees engaged in the program, not just the relationship. It also helps you to promote your mentoring program to your community, potential mentors and mentees, partners, sponsors and funding bodies.
14. Closing the Match
Many mentoring programs are time limited and the ending of the match is anticipated. Matches may also close for other reasons e.g. life circumstances make it impossible to continue the relationship. The feelings of both mentors and mentees, whatever they may be, need to be acknowledged and supported.
Evaluation contributes to continuous program improvement. It is linked to program goals and information, requirements of funding bodies, community partners and sponsors. Evaluation should be inclusive, involving feedback from mentors, mentees, staff, volunteers and other key stakeholders.