Topic: Mentoring Programs (Child & Adolescent)
Definition for Mentoring Programs (Child & Adolescent):
Mentoring Programs (Child & Adolescent) are defined by the CEBC as programs in which there is a structured relationship between a child or adolescent involved in the child welfare system and an older individual (the mentor), with the goal of developing the competence and potential of the child or adolescent (the mentee). Children placed in foster, kinship, and congregate care may experience multiple placement changes and/or reunification, leading to instability in home, neighborhood, school, and community environments. A mentor may serve as a stable adult in a young person’s life throughout these transitions.
- Target population: Children and adolescents involved in the child welfare system, especially those in out-of-home care
- Services/types that fit: Programs in which there is a structured relationship between a child/youth and an older individual, with the goal of developing the competence and potential of the mentee
- Delivered by: Trained adult mentors and the agency staff that supervise them (child welfare staff, mental health professionals, or trained paraprofessionals)
- In order to be included: Mentoring services must be a primary mechanism for the program
- In order to be rated: There must be research evidence (as specified by Scientific Rating Scale) that examines outcomes for the youth, such as changes in child welfare outcomes (reduced out-of-home placement, placement changes, etc.) or changes in youth behavior, symptom levels, and/or functioning.
Programs in this Topic Area
The programs listed below have been reviewed by the CEBC and, if appropriate, been rated using the Scientific Rating Scale.
One Program with a Scientific Rating of 2 - Supported by Research Evidence:
- Fostering Healthy Futures (FHF)Boys and girls, ages 9-11, placed in out-of-home care in the prior two years as a result of maltreatment
Three Programs with a Scientific Rating of 3 - Promising Research Evidence:
- Across Ages – non-responderYouth ages 9 to 13 who are at a high-risk for substance abuse
- Big Brothers Big Sisters of America (BBBSA)Youth aged 6-18 who may come from disadvantaged situations, such as single-parent homes, low-income homes, or homes with an absent ...
- Friends for Youth Mentoring ServicesYouth who are referred by teachers, counselors, probation officers, county mental health workers, Children’s Protective Services, and other ...
Four Programs with a Scientific Rating of NR - Not able to be Rated:
- BEST KidsYouth aged 6 to 21 years who are currently in or have been in the child welfare system
- Mentoring USA Foster Care Program – non-responderChildren and youth (7-21 years) in foster care
- One-on-One Mentoring Program – non-responderYouth ages 14 to 21 years involved in the child welfare system
- Silver Lining Mentoring (SLM)
[Adoption and Foster Care Mentoring]Youth with current or prior experience in foster care
Why was this topic chosen by the Advisory Committee?
The Mentoring Programs (Child & Adolescent) topic area is relevant to child welfare because mentoring programs can be a way for improving outcomes for youth in the child welfare system. Children in the foster care system often lack connections to adults who can provide support and guidance, and model how to successfully negotiate the many challenges in life. Too many foster children limit their own expectations for themselves since they lack the opportunities to see possibilities for their lives.
Danna Fabella, Director
Child & Family Policy Institute of California
Heather Taussig, PhD
Associate Professor of Pediatrics and Psychiatry
Kempe Center, University of Colorado School of Medicine