New research report on mentoring youth explores intended outcomes, what’s working and what’s not

“What Works for Mentoring Programs: Lessons from Experimental Evaluations of Programs and Interventions” is a new research brief from Child Trends, a Bethesda, Md.-based nonprofit, nonpartisan research organization that studies child development

The report examines 19 mentoring programs, including Big Brothers Big Sisters, to determine how well they meet their intended outcomes and what we can learn from them. The brief finds that mentoring programs that target at-risk youth or are community-based (versus school-based) are more frequently effective, as are those lasting a year or more.

While mentoring is a good strategy for helping children with education, social skills and relationships, programs aimed at behavior problems, such as reducing teen pregnancy or bullying, were not found to be effective. 

You can access the study in a 12-page PDF file here

Founded in 1979, Child Trends helps keep the nation focused on children and their needs by identifying emerging issues; evaluating important programs and policies; and providing data-driven, evidence-based guidance on policy and practice.

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