Youth who receive special education services under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA 2004) and especially young adults of transition age, should be involved in planning for life after high school as early as possible and no later than age 16. Transition services should stem from the individual youth’s needs and strengths, ensuring that planning takes into account his or her interests, preferences, and desires for the future.
Federal Support for Mentoring
Established in January 2014, the National Mentoring Resource Center is a resource for mentoring tools, program and training materials, as well as access to no-cost training and technical assistance. The goal of the National Mentoring Resource Center is to improve the quality and effectiveness of mentoring across the country by supporting youth mentoring practitioners. In addition to accessing online resources, mentoring programs can apply for no-cost training and technical assistance to support them in more deeply incorporating evidence-based practices, ultimately leading to greater positive outcomes for youth.
While accessible to the general public, the primary audience for the National Mentoring Resource Center is youth mentoring practitioners looking for support in more deeply incorporating evidence-based practices to support positive youth outcomes. In the fall of 2013, MENTOR analyzed needs and trends in the field across an array of stakeholders. The results of this analysis informed the initial development of the National Mentoring Resource Center. Additionally, the National Mentoring Resource Center Research Board — comprised of prominent researchers who have expertise in areas that are representative of the diversity in youth mentoring practice with regard to program models, settings for implementation, and specific populations and outcomes of interest — assesses and reports on the evidence that bears on the effectiveness of different mentoring programs, practices, and resources intended to promote positive youth outcomes, particularly those relating to prevention of delinquent behavior, victimization, and juvenile justice system involvement.
The program is sponsored by the U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention in partnership with MENTOR: The National Mentoring Partnership.
Mentoring for Preventing and Reducing Substance Use and Associated Risks among Youth
This review takes stock of the research that addresses the potential for mentoring to serve as a strategy for preventing and reducing substance use and the negative effects on personal health and well-being that may stem from this behavior. The review suggests several take-home messages for mentoring researchers and practitioners.
Impact Evaluation of the U.S. Department of Education’s Student Mentoring Program U.S. Department of Education, Institutes of Education Sciences (PDF, 295 pages)
This report by the U.S. Department of Education’s Institutes of Education Sciences used an experimental design in which students were randomly assigned to a treatment or control group. Thirty-two purposively selected school mentoring programs and 2,573 students took part in the evaluation, which estimated the impact of the programs over one school year on a range of student outcomes. The evaluation also describes the characteristics of the programs and the mentors, and provides information about program delivery.
National Mentoring Resource Center
The National Mentoring Resource Center is a program of the U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention and MENTOR: The National Mentoring Partnership. The Center 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.
United We Serve
Provides basic information on mentoring, the Corporate Mentoring Challenge, and National Mentoring Month. In addition, provides information on how to become involved in mentoring.
Mentoring Children of Prisoners Program
Information on the background, purpose, services provided, and grant process is provided for the Mentoring Children of Prisoners grant program. This program awards grants to provide children and youth of incarcerated parents with caring adult mentors. Each mentoring program is designed to ensure that mentors provide young people with safe and trusting relationships; healthy messages about life and social behavior; appropriate guidance from a positive adult role model; and opportunities for increased participation in education, civic service, and community activities.
National Science Foundation Undergraduate Research and Mentoring in the Biological Sciences
The goal of the Undergraduate Research and Mentoring in the Biological Sciences (URM) program is to increase the number and diversity of individuals pursuing graduate studies in all areas of biological research supported by the NSF Directorate for Biological Sciences. Support will be provided to academic institutions to establish innovative programs to engage undergraduates in a year-round research and mentoring activity. Particular emphasis will be placed on broadening participation of members of groups historically underrepresented in science and engineering: African Americans, Alaska Natives, American Indians, Hispanic Americans, Native Hawaiians and other Pacific Islanders, and persons with disabilities.
Office of Juvenile Justice and Youth Programs Mentoring Resources
Provides resources and information about mentoring and links to mentoring organizations.
Provides brief descriptions on school- and community-based mentoring.
National Criminal Justice Reference Services(NCJRS): Special Feature on Mentoring
To mark the tenth year of National Mentoring Month in 2011, NCJRS provided a special feature on mentoring providing resources, funding opportunities, and related resources on mentoring.
Office of Disability Employment Policy: Career Focused Mentoring
Information is provided about mentoring, specifically career-focused mentoring.
Office of Disability Employment Policy: Cultivating Leadership
Information is provided on how mentoring can help to cultivate leadership skills. Different types of mentoring, characteristics of successful mentoring relationships, and the benefits of mentoring to both mentor and mentee are discussed.
National Mentoring Month
Provides information on National Mentoring Month which has occurred annually in January since 2002. Additional resources about mentoring and National Mentoring Month are available
Other Resources on this Topic
Tools & Guides
Videos & Podcasts
Research links early leadership with increased self-efficacy and suggests that leadership can help youth to develop decision making and interpersonal skills that support successes in the workforce and adulthood. In addition, young leaders tend to be more involved in their communities, and have lower dropout rates than their peers. Youth leaders also show considerable benefits for their communities, providing valuable insight into the needs and interests of young people
Statistics reflecting the number of youth suffering from mental health, substance abuse, and co-occurring disorders highlight the necessity for schools, families, support staff, and communities to work together to develop targeted, coordinated, and comprehensive transition plans for young people with a history of mental health needs and/or substance abuse.
Nearly 30,000 youth aged out of foster care in Fiscal Year 2009, which represents nine percent of the young people involved in the foster care system that year. This transition can be challenging for youth, especially youth who have grown up in the child welfare system.
Research has demonstrated that as many as one in five children/youth have a diagnosable mental health disorder. Read about how coordination between public service agencies can improve treatment for these youth.
Civic engagement has the potential to empower young adults, increase their self-determination, and give them the skills and self-confidence they need to enter the workforce. Read about one youth’s experience in AmeriCorps National Civilian Community Corps (NCCC).