Introducing the Orientation to Mentoring for Mentors Training

Posted by jmeyer on March 21, 2022

Mentoring Central is pleased to introduce instructional materials for conducting a new standalone, in-person, instructor-led training designed to benefit all organizations that truly value their mentoring programs. The Orientation to Mentoring for Mentors kit includes a compilation of information and situations that your mentoring program can use to introduce new volunteers to the history and requirements of your organization. It’s presented in an easy-to-follow method that includes interactive activities to engage your mentor audience.

Mentor Orientation

The orientation training is designed to accompany the asynchronous, web-based Building the Foundation course. Whereas Building the Foundation introduces new volunteers to the common goals and expectations of mentors, the roles that mentors should and should not play in the lives of mentees, and general strategies for beginning their mentoring relationship, the Orientation to Mentoring workshop focuses on the policies and requirements of your specific mentoring program. The downloadable Orientation kit includes a customizable set of PowerPoint slides and Instructor’s Manual.

Topics included in the Orientation to Mentoring for Mentors workshop include the mission and goals of your specific mentoring program; information about the mentors who volunteer in, staff employed by, and mentees served by your program; a description of your program’s safety policies relevant to mentors; and your program requirements for both mentors and mentees. The Instructor’s Manual provides guidance for what information to include in each customizable slide, giving you an outline to follow where you can add your specific safety and risk management policies and procedures that will be relevant to your mentors. Each section contains step-by-step instructions about how to present the orientation workshop to mentors that will prepare them with the knowledge and skills they need to competently and enthusiastically begin their mentoring relationships.

The PowerPoint presentation can include new or expand upon existing topics that are relevant to your specific mentoring program. You can also remove topics that are not relevant to your program. For example, do you have a program policy on whether overnight visits by mentees at mentor’s houses is allowable or not, and under what circumstances? If you don’t currently have a policy on sleepovers, there’s helpful information to guide you in creating one and communicating about it to your mentors. A brief mention of this topic is important to do with new mentors, even if your program prohibits sleepovers, so your mentors know that this activity is forbidden.

The risk management topics included in the Manual reflect the all of the required risk management topics included in the Elements of Effective Practice for Mentoring, and these topics have been identified as the essential information that new mentors need to know in order to establish and grow their mentoring relationships in compliance with your program’s rules and policies, and in a safe and ethical way. The content of the training is both research- and practitioner-informed.

Engage and empower great mentors

The goal of this workshop is to adequately prepare your mentors to be impactful in ways that are consistent with your organization’s mission. When mentors feel prepared and confident, they will approach their experience with mentees in a positive and effective way. Establishing a solid orientation experience for new mentors also helps promote your organization as one that minimizes risk, and is professional, well designed, and values the mentor-mentee relationship.

If you find that your organization requires some additional risk management policies or needs some assistance further constructing and articulating your policies, we have a free series of webinars entitled “Risky Business” that can help. These four free webinars and accompanying PDF guides will provide you with practical tools for developing risk management policies that will benefit your mentor-mentee relationships.

An investment in mentoring

In addition, the Orientation to Mentoring for Mentors workshop resources can be updated regularly whenever your program adds or updates your internal policies . This flexibility makes your investment one that grows with your organization over time.

Mentoring Central offers a variety of basic and advanced mentor training courses and materials that are available for purchase at a low cost. All of our courses are research- and practitioner-informed with the goal of improving youth outcomes from mentoring. We know the value of training mentors and staff to work with your organization to truly make a difference in the lives of mentees. In fact, our mission is your program’s success. We’re committed to changing the lives of youth through positive mentoring experiences.