Youth Mentoring Tips & Tools

The documents that follow provide information that may be useful for 4-H staff and volunteers who are planning and conducting 4-H youth mentoring programs.

  • ''Fact Sheet 1: Tools To Gather Objective Data - Volunteer screening is essential for any youth-serving organization. Programs must consider each potential volunteer and whether they present a a risk – physically or emotionally – to a young person. This document is designed to help mentoring program staff consider the various tools available to them to gather objective data during the volunteer selection process. 
  • Tips and Tools 1: Match Monitoring: Questions to Guide Mentoring Professionals - Match monitoring is an essential component of successful mentoring programs and fulfills a variety of needs. Talking to mentors, mentees and parents regularly is an important tool for risk management and has been found to lead to stronger, longer lasting mentoring relationships. The questions in this document will help staff members in their efforts to make sure that matches are meeting regularly and to manage mentor and mentee expectations. 
  • Tips and Tools 2: Match Closure: Tips for Facilitating the Closure Process - All mentoring relationships will eventually close. Many times, closure is a celebration for matches who have successfully completed the program or reached the maximum age limit. Matches will often continue their relationship outside of the mentoring program with the parents’ permission. Unfortunately, matches sometimes close prematurely, and this can put great strain on mentors and youth. This document features a variety of mentoring professionals’ advice on facilitating match closure, whether positive or unexpected, in a way that best supports youth and mentors.
  • Tips and Tools 3: Volunteer Screening: Interview Questions for Youth, Parents and Referral Sources - Interviews with potential youth participants, parents and referral sources provide mentoring staff with an opportunity to determine whether the young person is an appropriate fit for the program and to learn about strengths, needs and interests that may influence the matching process. The questions in this document will help mentoring staff members in these interviews.
  • Tips and Tools 4: Volunteer Screening: Interview Questions for Potential Mentors - Volunteer screening is an essential component of successful mentoring programs and fulfills a variety of needs. The screening process provides information that is used to determine if a potential volunteer is likely to be successful as a mentor and an appropriate fit for the program. Interviews with potential volunteers provide mentoring staff with an opportunity to learn about the person’s motivations, interests, past experiences, match preferences and support network. The questions in this document will help mentoring staff members in interviews with potential mentoring volunteers.

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