Programs
Building Solutions. Supporting Communities. Advancing Justice.
Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, Working for Youth Justice and Safety
Multimedia Use Home
skip navigationAbout OJJDPE-NewsOJJDP resources organized topicallyFundingProgramsprograms Program Search Training and Technical Assistance Model Programs Guide OJJDP In Focus Programs and Initiatives State representatives and organizations that administer OJJDP programsPublicationsOJJDP Research and StatisticsOJJDP conferences, teleconferences, and juvenile justice-related eventsToolsHome
   Home > Topics >  Search Results > Program Summary

    Program Summary

 
Mentoring

Overview

Programs and Funding

Research and Evaluation

TTA

Contacts

Resources 

FAQs

OverviewTop  
Youth mentoring - a consistent, prosocial relationship between an adult or older peer and one or more youth - can help support the positive development of youth. Mentoring has been shown to improve self-esteem, academic achievement, and peer relationships and reduce drug use, aggression, depressive symptoms, and delinquent acts. Many young people have access to mentors (both naturally occurring and program supported); however, many more do not. In addition, there continues to be documented variation in both the quality of mentoring and its impact on youth outcomes.

OJJDP has long supported mentoring programs, awarding more than $834 million in grants to mentoring organizations from FY 2008 to FY 2017. OJJDP's mentoring work aims to both increase opportunities for youth to have mentors and improve the quality and impact of the mentoring they receive. Through its research, programmatic grants, training and technical assistance, and publications, OJJDP provides financial incentives and national leadership to support the delivery of high quality mentoring to a diverse and growing population of youth. The OJJDP National Mentoring Resource Center (NMRC) has been developed as a key research and practice resource for the mentoring field.

Programs and FundingTop  
OJJDP's Programmatic Initiatives in Mentoring:

On an annual basis, OJJDP uses appropriated federal funds to support a variety of mentoring approaches. OJJDP's mentoring work focuses on expanding the use of research-informed enhancements to mentoring programs as well as providing mentoring services to underserved and at-risk populations of youth.

A few of OJJDP's recent programmatic mentoring initiatives include: OJJDP also supports demonstration programs and practitioner-researcher partnerships to further promote and study the integration of evidence-based mentoring practices. Current initiatives include: OJJDP also supports the National Mentoring Resource Center (NMRC) and other research initiatives.

2017 Mentoring Opportunities for Youth
20 awards made totaling $61 million
  • Category 1 – 4 awards for a total of $38 million
  • Category 2 – 12 awards for a total of $19 million
  • Category 3 – 4 awards for a total of $4 million
CSEC Mentoring– 4 awards (3 program sites and 1 TTA) totaling $1.9 million (combination of Mentoring and MEC funds)
National Mentoring Resource Center- $1.5 million (TTA)
Research– $1.1 million
  • Mentoring Research Partners Program – one award of $149,999
  • Practitioner-Researcher Partnership in Cognitive Behavioral Mentoring Program – four awards (2 research/evaluation and 2 program) totaling $1 million
Current Funding Opportunities:

Visit the Funding Opportunities page for information on current funding opportunities available through OJJDP.

To subscribe to OJJDP's listserv for messages about funding and other opportunities available, visit the JUVJUST page.
Mentoring Research Partners Program
Research and EvaluationTop  
OJJDP's Research and Evaluation Initiatives in Mentoring:

In addition to supporting a variety of programmatic approaches that emphasize the use of mentoring research, OJJDP has focused on translating mentoring research to practice through a three prong strategy that includes disseminating information about evidence-based and research-informed mentoring practices, more strategically and effectively integrating research into mentoring practice, and supporting ongoing evaluation and assessments of innovative mentoring approaches.

Disseminating evidence-based mentoring resources: OJJDP's National Mentoring Resource Center (NMRC) includes a Research Board that oversees the development of the tools and resources in the "What Works" section and guides the training and technical assistance approach.

Integrating research into mentoring practice: OJJDP has supported three demonstration mentoring programs that promote practitioner-researcher partnerships and match innovative programmatic designing with ongoing evaluation. This includes: Evaluation of innovative mentoring approaches: OJJDP has supported investigator-initiated evaluation and research to better understand what works in mentoring and the underlying practices or mechanisms of these approaches. This includes:
Training and Technical AssistanceTop  
National Mentoring Resource Center (NMRC)
In January 2015, OJJDP officially launched the National Mentoring Resource Center (NMRC) in partnership with the National Mentoring Partnership (MENTOR). The goal of the NMRC is to support mentoring programs across the country to more fully incorporate evidence-based practices to improve the quality and effectiveness of their programming, leading to improved outcomes for our nation's youth.

The NMRC is comprised of three components:
  • Comprehensive Website – this website features quality resources for the youth mentoring field, including a wealth of evidence reviews, resources, and links to additional reading that can support practitioners, researchers and policymakers in evaluating and improving practice, understanding best practices in mentoring and supporting decisions related to the development, funding, and evaluation of youth mentoring initiatives.
  • Research Board – this board is responsible for reviewing research regarding the effectiveness of both mentoring programs as well as practices and resources for use in these programs.
  • Training and Technical Assistance – this no-cost assistance that is aligned to evidence-based practices can be accessed through the website; it is available to OJJDP mentoring grantees and communities or organizations without an OJJDP grant.
ContactsTop  
Training and Technical Assistance Contact(s)
National Mentoring Resource Center

http://www.nationalmentoringresourcecenter.org 

ResourcesTop  
OJJDP Publication(s)
Associations between Parental Characteristics, Attitudes, and Engagement on Mentoring Relationship Outcomes
OJJDP-Sponsored, November 2017. Researchers at the Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation conducted this study in partnership with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Kentuckiana to investigate whether three types of parent/guardian mentoring variables (parent/family characteristics, parent engagement in the match, and parenting style) influence match quality, match length, and youth program outcomes. 1 page. NCJ 251392
Abstract
PDF(Final Report)PDF(Research in Brief) 
Evaluation of the Mentoring Enhancement Demonstration Program: Appendices to Technical Report
OJJDP-Sponsored, April 2018. The study was designed as a comparative effectiveness trial examining enhancements to mentoring—where mentors were asked to incorporate advocacy and teaching functions into their roles and programs provided training and additional ongoing support around the advocacy and teaching functions—relative to business-as-usual mentoring (based on the programs' pre-existing model). NCJ 252204. 419 pages.
Abstract
PDF(Technical Report)PDF(Appendices) 
Evaluation of the Mentoring Enhancement Demonstration Program: Technical Report
OJJDP-Sponsored, September 2018. The American Institutes for Research (AIR) conducted a rigorous process and outcome evaluation of programs funded by OJJDP in 2012. The evaluation was designed to rigorously assess the effectiveness of programs that agreed to develop and implement enhanced practices incorporating advocacy or teaching roles for mentors, including providing focused prematch and ongoing training to mentors, and providing ongoing support to help mentors carry out the targeted roles. NCJ 252167. 233 pages.
Abstract
PDF(Technical Report)PDF(Appendices) 
Extending a Randomized Trial of the My Life Mentoring Model for Youth in Foster Care To Evaluate Long-Term Effects on Offending in Young Adulthood
OJJDP-Sponsored, January 2018. The My Life weekly mentoring model uses individual and group mentoring strategies to improve outcomes as youth transition from foster care. Weekly mentoring was effective for reducing criminal justice involvement among males and among those who were not receiving developmental disability services prior to intervention. 49 pages. NCJ 251418
Abstract
PDF 
Final Technical Report: An Evaluation of Advocacy-based Mentoring as a Treatment Intervention for Chronic Delinquency
OJJDP-Sponsored, November 2016. The primary goal of the proposed research project was to provide estimates of the effectiveness of youth advocacy in general, and more specifically as delivered through the Youth Advocate Programs, Inc. (YAP). This report presents an overview of the research conducted and outcomes. 139 pages. NCJ 250454.
Abstract
PDF(Final Report)PDF(Research in Brief) 
Group Mentoring for Resilience: Increasing Positive Development and Reducing Involvement in the Juvenile Justice System
OJJDP-Sponsored, July 2018. This "Mentoring Best Practices" project investigated the effectiveness of group mentoring as an intervention strategy for improving developmental outcomes among youth at risk for juvenile justice system involvement and produced an operations manual that can facilitate effective replication of the Project Arrive model. The evaluation data revealed positive effects of participation for several resilience assets and reducing academic risk factors. NCJ 252131. 94 pages.
Abstract
PDF 
Insights Into Recruiting Male Mentors: Motivations, Concerns, and the Role of Payment
OJJDP-Produced, September 2015. RTI International and Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Triangle (BBBS-T) collaborated to conduct a comprehensive process evaluation exploring male mentor recruitment and mentor motivation and the potential role of payment to mentors. The study design included seven components including; focus groups, interviews with mentoring agencies, a study of mentor recruitment, analyses of BBBS-T youth outcomes and strength of relationship administrative data, mentor motivation and concerns survey, a national telephone survey of men and an economic study. 141 pages. NCJ 251465.
Abstract
PDF 
Interim Report for the Evaluation of a Cross-age Peer Mentoring Program for Youth in High Violence Chicago Communities
OJJDP-Sponsored, December 2017. The overall goal of this study was to examine the impacts of the Saving Lives, Inspiring Youth (S.L.I.Y.) program, which aims to improve resilience and reduce aggression and other behavioral problems for disadvantaged youth residing in low-income, high-violence communities. 28 pages. NCJ 251379
Abstract
PDF 
Investigation of Long-Term Effects of the Big Brothers Big Sisters Community-Based Mentoring Program: Final Technical Report for OJJDP
OJJDP-Sponsored, January 2018. In analyses utilizing adult survey data, retrospective reports of a high-quality mentoring relationship (i.e., one year or longer with relatively strong feelings of closeness toward the mentor) approached or reached statistical significance in predicting a lower likelihood of arrest as a juvenile, fewer reports of stealing during adulthood, more favorable reported levels of emotional, psychological and social well-being, and less alcohol use during adulthood. 55 pages. NCJ 251521
Abstract
PDF 
Investigation of the Integration of Supports for Youth Thriving into a Community-Based Mentoring Program
OJJDP-Sponsored, September 2017. This project investigated the feasibility and impact of introducing youth-centered match support practices into the Big Brothers Big Sisters of America (BBBSA) community-based mentoring program. 49 pages. NCJ 251213
Abstract
PDF 
Mentee Risk Status and Mentor Training as Predictors of Youth Outcomes
OJJDP-Sponsored, September 2017. Archival national data from Big Brothers Big Sisters of America accompanied by program practice self-assessments and interviews from 45 local agencies revealed that greater implementation of benchmark program practices and standards is associated with longer match length and long-term relationships for matches. 41 pages. NCJ 251380
Abstract
PDF(Report)PDF(Research In Brief) 
Mentee Risk Status and Mentoring Program Practices as Predictors of Match Outcomes
OJJDP-Sponsored, November 2017. Archival national data from Big Brothers Big Sisters of America accompanied by program practice self-assessments and interviews from 45 local agencies revealed that greater implementation of benchmark program practices and standards is associated with longer match length and long-term relationships for matches. 2 pages. NCJ 251393
Abstract
PDF(Full Report)PDF(Research In Brief) 
Mentoring Best Practices Research: Effectiveness of Juvenile Mentoring for Youth on Parole and Probation in Ohio
OJJDP-Sponsored, November 2017. Researchers examined six mentoring programs in Ohio to better understand their impact on recidivism. Youth on parole and probation who received mentoring services were matched with similar youth who did not receive mentoring services. While some reductions in recidivism were found, the differences were not statistically significant. 1 page. NCJ 251408
Abstract
PDF(Full Report)PDF(Research in Brief) 
Mentoring Best Practices Research: Effectiveness of Juvenile Mentoring Programs on Recidivism
OJJDP-Sponsored, November 2017. This report presents findings from a project in which researchers examined six mentoring programs in Ohio to better understand their impact on recidivism. 135 pages. NCJ 251378
Abstract
PDF(Full Report)PDF(Research in Brief) 
Mentoring for Youth with Backgrounds of Involvement in Commercial Sex Activity National Mentoring Resource Center Population Review
OJJDP-Sponsored, February 2017. This review examines research on mentoring for youth with backgrounds of involvement (or high-risk for involvement) in commercial sex activity (YCSA). The review is organized around four questions: What is the documented effectiveness of mentoring for YCSA? What factors condition or shape the effectiveness of mentoring for YCSA? What are the intervening processes that are most important in linking mentoring to outcomes for YCSA? To what extent have efforts to provide mentoring to YCSA reached and engaged targeted youth, been implemented with high quality, and been adopted and sustained by host organizations and settings? NCJ 252022. 23 pages.
Abstract
PDF 
OJJDP-Funded Research in Brief: Prediction and Prevention of Premature Closures of Mentoring Relationships: The Study To Analyze Relationships (STAR Project)
OJJDP-Sponsored, January 2018. The goal of the Study To Analyze Relationships (STAR), is to understand how multiple program participants (mentor, mentee, parent/guardian, and program staff member) individually and collectively contribute to the development and duration of a new mentoring relationship. The STAR study assesses mentor, mentee, and parent/guardian characteristics, circumstances, and motivations prior to matching so that we can use this information to predict which relationships ultimately fare better than others. 1 page. NCJ 251484
Abstract
PDF(Full Report)PDF(Research in Brief) 
Prediction and Prevention of Premature Closures of Mentoring Relationships: The Study To Analyze Relationships (STAR Project)
OJJDP-Sponsored, November 2017. The goal of the Study To Analyze Relationships (STAR), is to understand how multiple program participants (mentor, mentee, parent/guardian, and program staff member) individually and collectively contribute to the development and duration of a new mentoring relationship. The STAR study assesses mentor, mentee, and parent/guardian characteristics, circumstances, and motivations prior to matching so that we can use this information to predict which relationships ultimately fare better than others. 88 pages. NCJ 251463
Abstract
PDF(Full Report)PDF(Research in Brief) 
Synthesis of OJJDP-sponsored Mentoring Research
OJJDP-Sponsored, September 2018. The report gives a summary, overview and analysis of the 24 original research projects funded by OJJDP and completed to-date. The report also includes a summary of the research-related work and products through the National Mentoring Resource Center. NCJ 252166. 65 pages.
Abstract
PDF 
Event(s)
National Mentoring Summit 
1/30/2019 - 2/1/2019
Renaissance Washington, DC, Downtown
Washington, DC
Link(s)

Changing Minds
Find out how a supportive, caring adult in a child's life could be an important factor in helping them overcome the effects of childhood trauma.

OJJDP National Mentoring Resource Center
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.

OJJDP's Model Programs Guide (MPG)
OJJDP's MPG contains information about evidence-based juvenile justice and youth prevention, intervention, and reentry programs. It is a resource for practitioners and communities about what works, what is promising, and what does not work in juvenile justice, delinquency prevention, and child protection and safety.

CrimeSolutions.gov: Mentoring Practice Profile
This resource provides findings from rigorous evaluation research syntheses in mentoring. Mentoring, as a general practice, has demonstrated positive impacts across a variety of delinquency, education, mental health, and substance abuse outcomes.

Other Resources
Related Research Publications:

OJJDP-Funded Mentoring Publications: OJJDP-funded mentoring publications are archived on the National Criminal Justice Reference Service website.

Handbook of Youth Mentoring: This updated Second Edition of the Handbook of Youth Mentoring presents a comprehensive synthesis of current theory, research, and practice in the field of youth mentoring.

Elements of Effective Practice for Mentoring: MENTOR's cornerstone publication, the Elements of Effective Practice for Mentoring™, details research-informed and practitioner-approved Standards for creating and sustaining quality youth mentoring programs and consequently, impactful mentoring relationships. The Fourth Edition, released in September 2015, reflects the most up-to-date research, practice, and thinking in the mentoring field.

The Mentoring Effect: Commissioned by MENTOR, this report shares the findings from the first nationally representative survey of young people's perspectives on mentoring.

Center for Evidence-based Mentoring: At the University of Massachusetts Boston, the Center seeks to advance the production, dissemination, and uptake of evidence-based practice in ways that improve the effectiveness of practice and, ultimately, create stronger, more enduring mentor-mentee relationships.

Other Federal Resources:

The Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS): Caring and committed mentors give young people the extra boost they need to achieve success. Mentoring is an effective way to engage individuals in meaningful service experiences and to develop and strengthen positive connections with families, schools, and the community. CNCS includes resources for mentors and mentoring programs.

Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS): Become a Mentor: This website highlights the importance of becoming involved in mentoring activities.

Youth.gov: Youth.gov (formerly FindYouthInfo.gov) was created by the Interagency Working Group on Youth Programs (IWGYP), which is composed of representatives from 19 federal agencies that support programs and services focusing on youth. The IWGYP promotes the goal of positive, healthy outcomes for youth. There is also a related OJJDP-funded topical page about serving Children of Incarcerated Parents.

Department of Labor: Office of Disability Employment Policy: Career-focused mentoring provides young people the opportunity to get a glimpse of the world of work that may not otherwise be available to them. It also allows them to gain and practice skills that are useful in professional and other settings, and to prepare for life as an adult.