The Youth Mentoring Network

For Mentors

The mentoring role

Choosing a Programme

The Categories of Youth Mentoring are:

BEFRIENDING - "Mutual relationships are the basis of all mentoring and this is the chief focus of programmes for younger people, which also tend to be longer in duration - especially in cases of parental absence."

CRIME PREVENTION programmes bring strong support in befriending and also for the identity development of young adolescents, to encourage connectedness with positive elements in their world. Mentoring programmes of this kind seek to avoid negative cycles in young lives.

IDENTITY AND CULTURE  - Programmes with this focus tend to be targeted at the adolescent years of non-Pakeha students, when clarity and confidence in who we are, where we belong and can aspire, are so important for making good decisions on friendships and future pathways. 

PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT - These broad-spectrum programmes are structured to offer experiences and challenges that develop leadership and self-efficacy, together with individual and collaborative skills among mentees. Most programmes have an element of Personal development involved in their development. 

EDUCATION / EMPLOYMENT TRANSITION - These programmes are focused on transition times, when young people become aware of how skill sets need to be developed and matched to their goals within the education system or world of work, and where the committed input of a successful and caring adult can make a real difference.


Before deciding whether or not to participate in a mentoring program, consider exploring a number of avenues:

  • Look at the websites of at least three programs of interest to you 
  • If possible, speak to someone who has mentored a young person, preferably as part of one of the programs you are interested in 
  • Contact program staff involved in programs you are interested in and decide whether or not that program meets your needs

When considering a program to participate in, there are a number of important questions you can ask program staff:

  • How long has the program been operating? 
  • Are there any financial costs involved in becoming a mentor in this program? 
  • How are the young people selected for the program? 
  • What role do caregivers and parents play in the mentoring program? 
  • How will the family respond to me? 
  • What is the length of the mentoring partnership? 
  • How often do I have to meet with the young person? 
  • Is there training to adequately prepare me to be a mentor? 
  • How much support do I receive from program staff should I become a mentor? 
  • What are the program expectations of the mentors? 
  • How are mentors matched with the young people? 
  • What processes are followed for someone wanting to become a mentor? 
  • Where will I meet my young person and what sort of things will we do together? 
  • What happens if the match does not seem to be working?

Once you have found a program that interests you, you will be ready to follow their application process, after which you can begin the journey.


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