Makes A Great Mentoring Program?
of USA Study Tour November 1999
Tobin Dusseldorp Skills Forum April 2000
global terms mentoring is a relatively new concept in Australia. Whilst there
are some programs which target young people at risk, most mentoring programs in
Australia focus on young people who have by conventional standards already made
a successful transition from school, for example mentoring for first year university
students or mentoring in the workplace for new employees.
the development of a pilot program on the Central Coast of NSW (Plan-It Youth)
which matches young people at risk of not completing their education with community
mentors, the Dusseldorp Skills Forum began exploring the Australian experience
in mentoring- searching for other programs of a similar nature, to learn from
of information, resources and the relative inexperience in mentoring in Australia
led the Forum to examine program practices in other parts of the world with more
history/experience in this field. In USA, for example, mentoring has been practised
for over 80 years and there are numerous examples of programs which target youth
at risk. Many of these programs support large numbers of matches eg the Big Brothers
Big Sisters program supports over 75,000 matches. Given this experience and the
successes of many of the programs, United States was the focus of the study tour.
study focused on:
target group of mentees
following information on programs visited, highlights points of interest as well
as points of difference, in the way programs are established and managed on a
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