On October 4th and 5th, iRT Senior Research Scientist, Dr. Janis Kupersmidt, participated in the Short Course on Strengthening Mentoring Program Quality to Broaden Impact sponsored by The University of Massachusetts-Boston, MENTOR, the European Centers for Evidence-Based Mentoring, and Mass Mentoring.
Dr. Kupersmidt gave a presentation entitled, “Increasing Youth Outcomes by Enhancing Mentoring Program Practices.” The presentation focused on how mentoring programs can provide high-quality, effective services uniformly to all youth served by the program. Mentoring programs should focus on implementation of program practice guidelines described in the Elements of Effective Practice for Mentoring (EEPM) published by MENTOR/National Mentoring Partnership, and the use of research-informed and safety-oriented training for mentors, mentees, and the parents or guardians of mentees. The presentation included a summary of research conducted by Dr. Kupersmidt and her colleagues on the positive outcomes associated with greater adherence to the program practice benchmarks described in the EEPM.
Dr. Kupersmidt also discussed results of recent iRT research on practices that improve the quality of mentoring programs for children in foster care and children of incarcerated parents, as well as the impact of matching practices on the length and strength of mentoring relationships.
This event hosted experts in mentoring from across the world, including the United States, the Netherlands, Germany, and Spain. Interest in youth mentoring is expanding quickly across Europe, and leading experts are interested in collecting the best information on how to create programs that have the biggest positive impact on youth. Attendees of the event discussed various program models and practices, and explored different approaches to youth mentoring. Earlier this year, a similar short course was conducted in Leeuwarden, the Netherlands building on the European Mentoring Summit program. The next European Mentoring Summit will be held in Berlin, Germany, March 14-16, 2018.