Millions of children across the United States benefit from mentoring every year. These relationships, often facilitated by one of the nation’s approximately 5,000 mentoring programs, support youth with the goal of improving their social and emotional development, strengthening their academic performance, and reducing juvenile delinquency.
In 2012, the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP), part of the U.S. Department of Justice, implemented the Mentoring Enhancement Demonstration Program (MEDP). The program included the addition of advocacy and teaching roles for mentors, as well as focused training and support with the goal of promoting positive, longer-lasting relationships with mentees and stronger positive outcomes for youth.
AIR conducted a rigorous, evidence-based evaluation of the MEDP, examining implementation of enhanced program practices and comparing outcomes for youth who received the program’s interventions with those of their peers, who participated in the traditional mentoring programs. This evaluation was conducted by AIR and its partners, Carla Herrera (consultant), Janet Forbush (consultant), Thomas Keller (Portland State University), and David Altschuler (Johns Hopkins University).
Overall, most mentor program staff reported that MEDP led to key improvements in their programs, including increased partnership-building, enhanced match support, stronger relationships between staff and mentors, and more effective mentoring relationships. Read the full report.