Tremendous growth in the youth mentoring field has resulted in an ever-expanding number of programs that provide choice, flexibility, and increased opportunities for young people who need mentors. However, the sheer number and variety of programs and approaches make it difficult for prospective mentors, parents, mentees, funders, and policymakers to know what constitutes a safe and effective mentoring program.
What is quality mentoring?
The National Quality Mentoring System (NQMS) creates recognized standards and procedures for the operation of high quality mentoring programs based on evidence and a process for continuous improvement within a program. Mentoring works best when steps are taken to ensure program practices meet quality standards that are safe and effective. To support mentoring programs in achieving these standards, MENTOR and Affiliates are leading the creation and facilitation of a structured, systematic process for programs to assess their practices in alignment with MENTOR’s cornerstone publication, the Elements of Effective Practice for Mentoring™, Fourth Edition, and receive the support they need to make continuous quality improvements and better serve their youth.
Establishing a systematic approach
The National Quality Mentoring System (NQMS) provides a structured, systematic process for assessing the quality of a mentoring program’s practices in alignment with the Elements of Effective Practice for Mentoring™, Fourth Edition (EEPM). The NQMS will provide a meaningful indicator of quality for youth mentoring programs and lend credibility to individual programs to attract resources and support. It will also help families and volunteers feel confident about participating in a mentoring program that meets national quality standards.
How it works
The core components of the NQMS are:
- A self-assessment survey completed by the mentoring program, with questions about program operations, management and evaluation.
- A review and summary response prepared by MENTOR Colorado.
- An assessment review meeting between MENTOR Colorado and the mentoring program.
- The development of goals and a work plan for the program to make quality improvements with the help of training and support provided by MENTOR Colorado.
- National and local recognition of the program upon satisfactory engagement in the quality assessment and improvement process
Current NQMS organizations
A Precious Child
Aurora Youth Options
Big Brothers Big Sisters of Colorado
Denver Area Youth for Christ
Full Circle of Lake County
Gunnison Valley Mentors
La Plata Youth Services
Minds Matter Denver
Partners for Youth
Partners of Delta, Montrose & Ouray
Partners Mentoring Youth
Save Our Youth
United Way Pueblo County