Training mentored youth and their caregivers to work together successfully with their mentor and mentoring program is critically important for achieving a safe, high-quality, sustained mentoring relationship, and for obtaining positive youth outcomes.
Training for mentees and their caregivers is considered a best practice in the field of mentoring; however, many programs struggle to provide them with systemic and adequate training experiences.
This gap in preparedness may explain the challenges that some mentors report in their relationships with the caregivers of their mentees, which include communication breakdowns, unexpected termination of the relationship, boundary violations, and misuse of power. Training in these areas can provide families with the skills, knowledge, and cognitions needed to develop a strong relationship with their mentor and mentoring program staff members.
Given the negative impact of prematurely terminated relationships, programs report a great need for figuring out ways to sustain and support mentoring relationships, and training mentees and their caregivers is one critically important strategy. Through advances in mobile technology and the rise of internet and mobile technology use, there now exists an opportunity to provide innovative and accessible web and mobile-based training resources for parents and youth across the country, including those living in rural areas.