Mentoring is an effective way to prevent at-risk youth from becoming involved in delinquency and also to help already delinquent youth change their lives for the better. Mentoring relationships have been shown to improve youth's self-esteem, behavior, and academic performance. For these reasons, OJJDP has long supported mentoring programs, with mentoring appropriations totaling more than $615 million from FY 2008 to FY 2014.
Over the past five years, OJJDP has invested $15 million in mentoring research. Current OJJDP efforts include a 32-site demonstration program that is developing and testing models that incorporate advocacy and teaching roles for mentors. Additionally, OJJDP and MENTOR: The National Mentoring Partnership launched the National Mentoring Resource Center (NMRC) in January 2015. This comprehensive online resource provides mentoring tools and information, program and training materials, and technical assistance to help local programs and practitioners improve the quality and effectiveness of their mentoring efforts. See the press release associated with the launch.
To access ratings and evaluations of juvenile justice programs, see OJJDP’s Model Programs Guide (MPG). Captured on MPG is information about youth prevention, intervention, and reentry programs, including programs that focus on mentoring efforts.
"Every day, mentors in communities across our Nation provide crucial support and guidance to young people. Whether a day is spent helping with homework, playing catch, or just listening, these moments can have an enormous, lasting effect on a child's life."
President Barack Obama
Following are examples of OJJDP/OJJDP-supported resources that focus on mentoring efforts and research:
- Mentoring in Juvenile Treatment Drug Courts (OJJDP Grant Report, August 2015)
- Understanding the Role of Parent Engagement To Enhance Mentoring Outcomes: Final Evaluation Report (OJJDP Grant Report, June 2014)
- “OJJDP Administrator Discusses Prevention Strategies at National Mentoring Summit” (OJJDP News @ a Glance, January/February 2014)
- T.E.A.M., Teach, Empower, Affirm, Mentor, A Risk Reduction Mentoring Curriculum, Instructor"s Manual (OJJDP Grant Report, 2014)
- Mentoring Children of Incarcerated Parents: A Synthesis of Research and Input from the Listening Session Held by the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention and the White House Domestic Policy Council and Office of Public Engagement (OJJDP Grant Report, January 2014)
- Project Research to Action in Mentoring, Final Report (OJJDP Grant Report, December 2013)
- “White House, OJJDP Hold Listening Session on Mentoring Children of Incarcerated Parents” (OJJDP News @ a Glance, September/October 2013)
The resources below provide information about mentoring and links to mentoring organizations.
Featured Resource –
National Mentoring Resource Center (NMRC)
This comprehensive online resource provides mentoring tools and information, program and training materials, and technical assistance, particularly relating to delinquency prevention, victimization, and juvenile justice system involvement, to help local programs and practitioners improve the quality and effectiveness of their mentoring efforts.
Additional Resources –
4-H focuses on the personal growth of the youth membership. Life skills development was built into 4-H projects, activities and events to help youth become contributing, productive, self-directed members of society.
Big Brothers Big Sisters of America
With a network of more than 500 local agencies throughout the nation, maintaining more than 145,000 one-to-one relationships between youth and volunteer adults, operates as the largest and best-known mentoring program in the country.
Boys and Girls Club of America
Programs and services promote and enhance the development of boys and girls by instilling a sense of competence, usefulness, belonging and influence.
Federal Mentoring Council
This website provides in-depth information on the Council, its mentoring initiatives, partners, resources, research findings, and contact information for youth mentoring programs.
The Harvard Mentoring Project
In 1997, the Center for Health Communication of the Harvard School of Public Health launched a national media campaign to promote the growth of the mentoring movement with the goal of linking large numbers of young people with adult mentors. This annual month-long campaign includes a combination of national media and local media involvement and extensive community outreach.
Widely acknowledged as the nation's premier advocate and resource for the expansion of mentoring initiatives nationwide, MENTOR works with a strong network of state and local mentoring partnerships to leverage resources and provide the support and tools that mentoring organizations need to effectively serve young people in their communities.
In August 2015, MENTOR joined forces with LinkedIn to help mobilize members to mentor. On this dedicated site, LinkedIn will feature member stories that demonstrate the transformative potential of mentoring relationships both in the workplace and in communities between adults and young people. See the news release to learn more about this effort.
Through a cooperative agreement with the Department of Justice, this faith-based mentoring website seeking to recruit and refer Christian adults, and the community as a whole, to mentoring programs in their local communities.
The National Association of Police Athletics/Activities Leagues Inc.
National PAL exists to prevent juvenile crime and violence by providing civic, athletic, recreational and educational enrichment, mentoring and tutoring to the 400 PAL chapters around the country.
United We Serve: My Brotherís Keeper
This website highlights the importance of becoming involved in mentoring activities.
Youth.gov was created by the Interagency Working Group on Youth Programs (IWGYP), which is composed of representatives from 12 Federal agencies that support programs and services focusing on youth. The IWGYP promotes the goal of positive, healthy outcomes for youth by promoting enhanced collaboration at the federal, state, and local levels; disseminating information about critical resources, including evidence-based programs, to assist interested citizens and decision-makers, particularly at the community level, to plan, implement, and participate in effective strategies for at-risk youth; and developing an overarching strategic plan for federal youth policy, as well as recommendations for improving the coordination, effectiveness and efficiency of youth programs, using input from community stakeholders, including youth.
For additional information on mentoring, including publications, funding, and other related resources, access the Mentoring Special Feature from the National Criminal Justice Reference Service. To learn more about being a mentor, access "Building Relationships: A Guide for New Mentors."
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