The Vermont Mentoring Partnershipis an advocate for the expansion of mentoring and a resource for mentors and mentoring initiatives statewide.
The Vermont Mentoring Partnership Mission:The Vision of the Vermont Mentoring Partnership is: To improve the lives of Vermont youth through quality mentoring relationships.
- Is a structured, one-to-one relationship or
partnership that focuses on the needs of the mentored participant.
- Fosters caring and supportive relationships.
- Encourages individuals to develop to their fullest potential
- Helps an individual to develop his or her own vision for the
- Is a strategy to develop active community partnerships.
- A well-defined mission and established operating principles.
- Regular, consistent contact between the mentor and the participant.
- Support by the family or guardian of the participant.
- Additional community support services.
- An established organization of oversight.
- Adherence to general principles of volunteerism.
- Paid or volunteer staff with appropriate skills.
- Written job descriptions for all staff and volunteer positions.
- Adherence to EEO requirements.
- Inclusiveness of racial, economic, and gender representation
as appropriate to the program.
- Adequate financial and in-kind resources.
- Written administrative and program procedures.
- Written eligibility requirements for program participants.
- Program evaluation and ongoing assessment.
- A long-range plan that has community input.
- Risk management and confidentiality policies.
- Use of generally accepted accounting practices.
- A prudent and reasonable rationale for staffing requirements
that is based on:
-the organization's statement of purpose and goals
-the needs of mentors and participants
-staff and other volunteers' skill level.
1. A statement of purpose and long-range plan that includes:
- Who, what, where, when, why and how activities will be performed.
- Input from originators, staff, funders, potential volunteers, and participants.
- Assessment of community need.
- Realistic, attainable, and easy-to-understand operational plan.
- Goals, objectives, and timelines, for all aspects of the plan.
- Funding and resource development plan.
2. A recruitment plan for both mentors and participants that includes:
- Strategies that portray accurate expectations and benefits.
- Year-round marketing and public relations.
- Targeted outreach based on participants' needs.
- Volunteer opportunities beyond mentoring.
- A basis in your program's statement of purpose and long-range plan.
3. An orientation for mentors and participants that includes:
- Program overview.
- Description of eligibility, screening process, and suitability
- Level of commitment expected (time, energy, flexibility).
- Expectations and restrictions (accountability).
- Benefits and rewards they can expect.
- A separate focus for potential mentors and participants.
- A summary of program policies, including written reports, interviews,
evaluation, and reimbursement.
4. Eligibility screening for mentors and participants that includes:
- An application process and review.
- A face-to-face interview and home visit.
- Reference checks for mentors, which may include character references, child abuse registry check, driving record checks, and criminal record checks where legally permissible.
- Suitability criteria that relate to the program statement of purpose and needs of the target population. Could include some or all of the following: personality profile; skills identification; gender; age; language and racial requirements; level of education; career interests; motivation for volunteering; and academic standing.
- Successful completion of pre-match training and orientation.
5. A readiness and training curriculum for all mentors and participants that includes:
- Trained staff trainers.
- Orientation to the program and resource network, including information
and referral, other supportive services, and schools.
- Skills development as appropriate.
- Cultural/heritage sensitivity and appreciation training.
- Guidelines for participants on how to get the
most out of the mentoring relationship.
- Do's and Don'ts of relationship management.
- Job and role descriptions.
- Confidentiality and liability information.
- Crisis management/problem solving resources.
- Communications skills development.
- Ongoing sessions as necessary.
6. A matching strategy that includes:
- A link with the program's statement of purpose.
- A commitment to consistency.
- A grounding in the program's eligibility criteria.
- A rationale for the selection of this particular matching strategy from the wide range of available models.
- Appropriate criteria for matches, including some or all of the following: gender; age; language requirements availability; needs; interests; preferences of volunteer and participant; life experience; temperament.
- A signed statement of understanding that both parties agree to the conditions of the match and the mentoring relationship.
- Pre-match social activities between mentor and participant pools.
- Team building activities to reduce the anxiety of the first meeting.
7. A monitoring process that includes:
- Consistent, scheduled meetings with staff, mentors, and participants.
- A tracking system for ongoing assessment.
- Written records.
- Input from community partners, family, and significant others.
- A process for managing grievances, praise, re-matching, interpersonal problem solving, and premature relationship closure.
8. A support, recognition, and retention component that includes:
- A formal kick-off event.
- Ongoing peer support groups for volunteers, participants, and others.
- Ongoing training and development.
- Relevant issue discussion and information dissemination.
- Networking with appropriate organizations.
- Social gatherings of different groups as needed.
- Annual recognition and appreciation event.
- Newsletters or other mailings to participants, mentors, supporters, and funders.
9. Closure steps that include:
- Private and confidential exit interviews to de-brief the mentoring relationship between:
-participant and staff.
-mentor and staff.
-mentor and participant without staff.
- Clearly stated policy for future contacts.
- Assistance for participants in defining next steps for achieving personal goals.
10. An evaluation process based on:
- Outcome analysis of program and relationship.
- Program criteria and statement of purpose.
- Information needs of board, funders, community partners, and other supporters of the program.