National Mentoring Resource Center Blog

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Creating Tiered Levels of Support to Sustainably Reduce Coordinator Burn-Out

MAY 16, 2019

Mentor Connector

Five years ago, I quickly became the ringleader of the controlled chaos at The Mentor Connector. At first, the small staff were overworked and struggling to keep up with the demand. Our mentor match to staff ratio was well over 65:1 and funding for mentoring services had been waning for the past four years. There was no way we could continue to provide high-quality mentoring to all our matches, much less think about growth.

I’m sure you would agree that the Mentor Coordinator position is basically a catch-all for every aspect of a mentoring program. The coordinator is the recruiter, trainer, supporter, evaluator, and many times the fundraiser of the organization. It is the coordinator who could find themselves recruiting at a community event in the morning, to cleaning the office after an afternoon activity, to providing evening support to a mentor when her youth discloses suicidal thoughts. With the current structure, burnout was inevitable.

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Court-Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) Volunteers Model Commitment, Teamwork and Drive

APRIL 30, 2019


Court-appointed special advocate (CASA) volunteers work with some of society’s most vulnerable children—those who have experienced abuse or neglect. When someone signs up to be a CASA volunteer, they’re signing up to advocate for the best interests of a child in court.

Volunteers work with child welfare agencies, legal and child welfare professionals, educators and service providers to ensure that judges have all the information they need to make the most well-informed decisions for the best interest of each child.

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Child Abuse Prevention Month: Resources and Learning Opportunities from OJJDP and the NMRC

APRIL 9, 2019

Child Abuse Prevention Month

April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month, a time for communities nationwide to encourage action to improve the safety and well-being of youth. National Child Abuse Prevention Month is an annual observance that focuses on promoting the social and emotional well-being of children and families, and raising awareness about the importance of families and communities working together to prevent child abuse and neglect. According to a Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) report, 3.5 million children were subject to at least one maltreatment report in fiscal year 2017. OJJDP is partnering with the HHS Administration for Children and Families’ Children’s Bureau, the National Children’s Alliance, and OJJDP’s National Mentoring Resource Center to promote community partnerships and support efforts to address child abuse and neglect. Learn more about these partnerships and what you can do to end child abuse.

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MARCH 15, 2019

Art Heals!

Karen pulls up to the suburban four-bedroom home in West Phoenix, opens her trunk and pulls out two green canvas bags that read “Free Arts” on the side. She looks up and notices a small face pressed against the glass in the front window. The front door swings open and a staff member from the foster care group home unlocks the screen from the inside, letting Karen into the house. Immediately, two grade school aged girls run up and ask, “What are we making today, Miss Karen?” “You’ll see!” Karen replies with a twinkle in her eye. “Want to help me set out the supplies?” The girls agree and set to work. Soon, five other girls trickle into the kitchen area, some with wet hair fresh from the shower, others already in their pajamas. They gather around the large dining table, picking up supplies and asking excited questions, “Are these for us?” “What are these?” “Ooo, shiny!” one exclaims about some stickers fresh from the package. “I’m new here, who are you?” one asks.

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A Mentoring Initiative that Strives to Support the Whole Child

MARCH 6, 2019


Gwinnett County Public Schools’ Community-Based Mentoring Program in Gwinnett County, Georgia plays an important role in our school district’s efforts to support students. In 2008, our CEO/Superintendent created the program to address a need in our community—a need to support underserved African American young males.

The success of the program and its students led to expansion of the program, which now serves African American female students and Hispanic students as well. The mission of our program is to provide mentoring to our students to enhance their social and academic development, resulting in their growth as successful and responsible young adults.

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