A critical early decision for your group is whether to link in to an existing mentoring program or develop a new program.
There are two ways of delivering a mentoring program in your community:
Locate existing mentoring programs
The Youth Mentoring Hub is a great place to start to identify existing mentoring programs. Visit Yout Mentoring Hub for information and contact details of youth mentoring programs across Australia.
Contact the mentoring program of interest to explore its availability and suitability. Each program will have its own requirements and processes. Consider, for example:
If you and your partners agree that an existing mentoring program is a good fit for your community, it is time to register with the program.
A number of established mentoring programs exist in Australia, including:
If the existing mentoring program does not suit your community needs and LDAT objectives, your group could consider developing your own program.
Finding ways to engage young people so that they are actively involved in the planning and design of projects or activities is a critical step in community-based work. Engaging with young people means that programs delivered to them are appropriate, relevant, supportive and responsive to the needs of young people.
Engaging young people involves much more than getting them into the program as mentees. It as about enabling young people – the people impacted by your project/s or activites – to voice their ideas and concerns, and to have a meaningful role in decision-making, planning and design of them.
It is important to remember that when we describe ‘young people’ in this resource, we are describing people aged 12 to 30 years of age. This means that those who are 18 to 30 are legal adults themselves but still face many of the same challenges, barriers and issues as those under 18.
Young people are a diverse and dynamic population, and there is no single, one-size-fits-all approach to engaging them. Some useful tips for engaging with young people provided in Better Together: A practical guide to effective engagement with young people include:
Some examples of ways agencies have successfully engaged young people include:
Setting objectives is an important part of the planning process.
Some example objectives for mentoring programs are provided below. Groups can develop their own objectives, although you may find these a useful starting point.
Whether you are linking in to an existing mentoring program or developing your own program, strong partnerships will be critical to your success.
Partners can support the mentoring program in many different ways, including promoting the program, recruiting young people and mentors, providing a venue for training, financial support, and much more.
The focus of the mentoring program (e.g. social-emotional wellbeing, individual talents and leadership, youth justice and crime prevention, identity, culture and faith, and/or education, training and employment) will influence the type of individuals, networks and organisations that your group partners with.
Partners may include:
All mentoring programs need to be adequately resourced, and this is particularly valid when developing a new program.
It is important to ensure that your group has the capacity and resources required to deliver a successful program. Below is an indicative list of resources required to develop a new mentoring program. Groups that are linking in to existing mentoring programs are encouraged to find out what resources are required for the specific program.