Friends for Youth 1 to 1 Mentoring

About This Program

Target Population: Youth ages 8-17 (referred by teachers, counselors, probation officers, county mental health, child protective/welfare services, or other youth-serving professionals) who are at-risk of not reaching their full potential due to challenges at home, at school, and/or in their neighborhood

For children/adolescents ages: 8 – 17

Program Overview

Friends for Youth's mission is to create quality mentoring relationships for youth who need them most. The Friends for Youth 1 to 1 Mentoring program creates and sustains community-based, long-term, one-to-one relationships between trusted adult volunteer mentors and youth who lack a positive adult relationship. This relationship exposes youth-in-need to new opportunities for learning and growth, with an emphasis on positive youth development, academic achievement, health and wellness, prevention services, and critical skills for future self-sufficiency.

Friends for Youth 1 to 1 Mentoring integrates outcome measures for the youth (e.g., academic achievement, wellness, skills development) into ongoing operations. Data is gathered during the intake interview of the mentee, three months after being matched with a mentor, and at the one-year mark, then analyzed. The data is then used to see how the youth has progressed.

Friends for Youth's core values are:

  • Belief in the power of human relationships
  • Uncompromising program excellence
  • Leadership in the mentoring field
  • Community impact
  • Integrity

Program Goals

The goals of Friends for Youth Mentoring Services are:

  • Increase positive behaviors, reduce risk behaviors, and improve the self-concept of at-risk youth in order to help them make healthy choices and reach their full potential
  • Improve academic engagement and achievement and help low-income, at-risk youth set goals for their future by providing effective, educational, and enriching out-of-school support services and activities
  • Build a "community of caring" for young people through networks, collaborations, and coalitions
  • Promote best practices and safety in all mentoring programs in the community

Logic Model

The program representative did not provide information about a Logic Model for Friends for Youth 1 to 1 Mentoring.

Essential Components

The essential components of Friends for Youth 1 to 1 Mentoring Services include:

  • Using mentor recruitment strategies that realistically portray benefits, practices, and challenges of mentoring and having written statements of eligibility
  • Recruitment of mentee (youth clients) who have needs that best match the Friends for Youth 1 to 1 Mentoring services and having written statements of eligibility
  • Screening all mentees to ensure each mentee's appropriateness and parent/guardian's support
  • Conducting a comprehensive mentor screening process
  • Providing 6 hours of pre-match in-person training to mentors
  • Matching mentors and mentees along dimensions identified by research and practice that will hopefully increase match success and longevity
  • Monitoring of matches through an intensive and ongoing process that includes meetings and contacts with mentors, mentees, parents/guardians, and other relevant youth service professionals
  • Providing ongoing group activities program for matches 3 times per month
  • Recognizing mentor commitment and accomplishments
  • Following match closure procedures that promote positive transitions and endings for mentees
  • Designing a relationship-based program design
  • Utilizing positive youth development principles in program planning and implementation
  • Providing program management that ensures adherence to policies and procedures, staff development, and appropriate finances and resources
  • Conducting ongoing program evaluation designed by a mentoring researcher and analyzed by an independent evaluation expert
  • Ensure weekly 3-hour match outings are occurring
  • Recruiting mentors and mentees with the expectation that matches are minimum of one year, but they can last as long as the mentor/mentee wishes
  • Providing ongoing activities and communication with program "Alumni" (all matches that are past their one-year initial commitment)

Program Delivery

Child/Adolescent Services

Friends for Youth 1 to 1 Mentoring directly provides services to children/adolescents and addresses the following:

  • Poverty, living in homes and/or communities in which violence, drugs, and other negative risk factors are present, abuse, violent or delinquent behavior, low self-efficacy, academic failure, truancy/suspension from school, avoidance of reading or other "academic" endeavors, depression, short attention span, withdrawal, lack of appropriate social skills, anger/aggression, substance use, sexual activity/teen pregnancy, loneliness, isolation, and grief. 
Services Involve Family/Support Structures:

This program involves the family or other support systems in the individual's treatment: Parents/guardians are first approached about Friends for Youth 1 to 1 Mentoring through a youth service professional (including school personnel) with whom they have a positive relationship. Once a referral with parental consent is received, a home visit is set up, during which time parents/guardians are interviewed, and families receive program details, with an opportunity for questions. Families must support their child's participation. Consistent contact with families continues once a match is made, allowing staff to build positive relationships with the family, monitor the mentoring relationship, and identify any challenges. Friends for Youth helps parents/guardians by referring them to other community resources that they may need for their families. Friends for Youth also communicates with schools and other agencies involved with each youth. Friends for Youth is highly collaborative and networks with other community agencies in order to best respond to the needs of families that are identified.

Recommended Intensity:

3 hours per week

Recommended Duration:

Minimum of 12 months

Delivery Setting

This program is typically conducted in a(n):

  • Community-based Agency / Organization / Provider


Friends for Youth 1 to 1 Mentoring includes a homework component:

There is an academic achievement component that focuses on all aspects of school behavior and performance. Prescriptive homework sessions are not as effective as a developmental approach involving stimulating academic interests, incorporating learning components into match activities, and developing positive relationships with school personnel. Homework is included in match activities as the relationship develops and mentees are open to this direct intervention. Additional learning resources are provided to and utilized by matches. Friends for Youth developed an Academic Activities Guide to help mentors design activities with learning components and teachable moments. Friends for Youth also developed a Mentoring Journal to help mentors and mentees have meaningful developmental interactions and activities.


Friends for Youth 1 to 1 Mentoring has materials available in a language other than English:


For information on which materials are available in this language, please check on the program's website or contact the program representative (contact information is listed at the bottom of this page).

Resources Needed to Run Program

The typical resources for implementing the program are:

  • Adequate personnel to implement the essential program components listed above
  • Community resources and connections to help meet individual mentee needs and the needs of their parents/families
  • Adequate space for confidential match meetings and support
  • Space for group activities for all matches
  • Adequate technology for database management and outcome evaluation

Manuals and Training

Prerequisite/Minimum Provider Qualifications

Program Coordinators: Bachelor's degree in related field plus 3 years of experience with target youth population, outstanding interpersonal skills with all community constituents, successful completion of extensive onsite training

Supervisors: Minimum Master's degree in related field plus 3 years of experience in program development and oversights, as well as expertise in youth services

Manual Information

There is a manual that describes how to deliver this program.

Training Information

There is training available for this program.

Training Contact:
Training Type/Location:

Friends for Youth has developed training modules for all aspects of developing a mentoring program, including both core and supporting components:

  • Successful Practices
  • Mission and Vision
  • Program Operations
  • Program Evaluation
  • Mentee Referral/Recruitment
  • Mentee Screening/Assessment
  • Mentee Orientation/Training
  • Mentee Parent/Guardian Support
  • Mentor Recruitment
  • Mentor Screening/Youth Safety
  • Mentor Orientation
  • Mentor Training
  • Matching Strategy
  • Ongoing Monitoring Practices
  • Mentor Support/Recognition/Retention
  • Closure/Continuing Process

Training methods are adapted to best meet needs of agencies.

Number of days/hours:

Training days and hours are adjusted to meet the needs of agencies.

Implementation Information

Pre-Implementation Materials

There are no pre-implementation materials to measure organizational or provider readiness for Friends for Youth 1 to 1 Mentoring.

Formal Support for Implementation

There is no formal support available for implementation of Friends for Youth 1 to 1 Mentoring.

Fidelity Measures

There are no fidelity measures for Friends for Youth 1 to 1 Mentoring.

Implementation Guides or Manuals

There are no implementation guides or manuals for Friends for Youth 1 to 1 Mentoring.

Implementation Cost

There are no studies of the costs of Friends for Youth 1 to 1 Mentoring.

Research on How to Implement the Program

Research has not been conducted on how to implement Friends for Youth 1 to 1 Mentoring.

Relevant Published, Peer-Reviewed Research

Child Welfare Outcome: Child/Family Well-Being

Keating, L., Tomishima, M. A., Foster, S., & Alessandri, M. (2002). The effects of a mentoring program on at-risk youth. Adolescence, 37(148), 717-734.

Type of Study: Two group pretest-posttest study (nonrandomized)
Number of Participants: 68


  • Age — 10-17 years
  • Race/Ethnicity — 37% Latino, 32% Caucasian, 24% African American, 3% Asian, and 3% Other
  • Gender — 65% Male and 35% Female
  • Status — Participants were youth deemed at risk by a concerned professional and were referred to mentoring program.

Location/Institution: Western United States

Summary: (To include basic study design, measures, results, and notable limitations)
This study examined an intensive mentoring program that focuses on youth deemed at-risk for juvenile delinquency or mental illness [now called Friends for Youth Mentoring Services]. The youth (ages 10 to 17) either participated in the mentoring program or remained on the waiting list for 6 months.  Mothers and teachers completed the Child Behavior Checklist, and youth completed the Hopelessness Scale for Children, the Piers-Harris Self-Concept Scale, the Self-Report Delinquency Scale and the Social Support Questionnaire Self-Report.  Analyses assessed changes from preintervention to postintervention and indicated significant improvement in problematic behaviors for the intervention group. Mentoring appeared to affect African American youth differently than Caucasian and Latino youth. There were no significant interactions involving gender.  Limitations included lack of randomization, lack of blinding to study group, and small sample size for racial/ethnic analyses.

Length of controlled postintervention follow-up: None.

Additional References

Arevalo, E., Chavira, D., Cooper, B., & Smith, M. (2014). SAFE: Guidelines to prevent child molestation in mentoring and youth-serving organizations. Second Printing. Friends for Youth, Inc.

Garinger, M. Kupersmidt, J., Rhodes, J., Stelter, R., & Tai, T. (2015). Elements of effective practice for mentoring: Research-informed and practitioner-approved best practices for creating and sustaining impactful mentoring relationships and strong program services (4th ed.). Retrieved from

Garringer, M., McQuillin, S., & McDaniel, H. (2017, July). Examining youth mentoring services across America: Findings from the 2016 National Mentoring Program Survey. Retrieved from

Contact Information

Laurie Kazen, LCSW, CSD
Title: Executive Director
Agency/Affiliation: Friends for Youth, Inc.
Phone: (650) 368-4464
Fax: (650) 368-4467

Date Research Evidence Last Reviewed by CEBC: February 2021

Date Program Content Last Reviewed by Program Staff: August 2019

Date Program Originally Loaded onto CEBC: April 2012