Research In Action #3


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Issue 3: Program Staff in Youth Mentoring Programs: Qualifications, Training, and Retention.

This series was developed by MENTOR and translates the latest mentoring research into tangible strategies for mentoring practitioners. Research In Action (RIA) makes the best available research accessible and relevant to the mentoring field.

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  • Research In Action #3

    1. 1. Research in Action Series Program Staff in Youth Mentoring Programs: Qualifications, Training, and Retention
    2. 2. Overview of Research in Action Series <ul><li>MENTOR has developed an innovative series - Research in Action </li></ul><ul><li>Translates the latest research on mentoring into tangible strategies for mentoring practitioners. </li></ul><ul><li>Makes the best available research accessible and relevant to the mentoring field.   </li></ul><ul><li>Using the Research in Action series, programs can ensure their practices are based on current research, resulting in improved services and better impacts for young people. </li></ul>
    3. 3. <ul><li>10 issues </li></ul><ul><li>Each issue provides:   </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Research </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Action </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Resources </li></ul></ul>Overview of Research in Action Series
    4. 4. Research in Action Issues: <ul><li>Mentoring: A Key Resource for Promoting Positive Youth Development </li></ul><ul><li>Effectiveness of Mentoring Program Practices </li></ul><ul><li>Program Staff in Youth Mentoring Programs: Qualifications, Training, and Retention </li></ul><ul><li>Fostering Close and Effective Relationships in Youth Mentoring Programs </li></ul><ul><li>Why Youth Mentoring Relationships End </li></ul><ul><li>School-Based Mentoring </li></ul><ul><li>Cross-Age Peer Mentoring </li></ul><ul><li>Mentoring Across Generations: Engaging 50+ Adults as Mentors </li></ul><ul><li>Youth Mentoring: Do Race and Ethnicity Really Matter? </li></ul><ul><li>Mentoring: A Promising Intervention for Children of Prisoners </li></ul>
    5. 5. Mentor Michigan Webinar Series <ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li>Click on “Training & Technical Assistance” </li></ul>
    6. 6. Issue 3: Program Staff in Youth Mentoring Organizations <ul><li>Thomas E. Keller, Ph.D., Portland State University </li></ul><ul><li>Download this issue by visiting </li></ul>
    7. 7. Issue 3 - Overview <ul><li>Introduction </li></ul><ul><li>Research </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Staff Qualifications </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Staff Training </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Staff Retention </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Action </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Checklists </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Resources </li></ul>
    8. 8. Staff Contributions to Program <ul><li>Design program models </li></ul><ul><li>Support relationships </li></ul><ul><li>Form relationships with participants </li></ul><ul><li>Model attributes desired in mentors </li></ul><ul><li>Implement program policies and procedures </li></ul>
    9. 9. Many Hats - Mentor Program Staff Direct service Volunteer managers Case managers
    10. 10. Mentoring Programs: Parallel Fields Child Welfare Workers Nature of Work Youth Development Nature of Workforce
    11. 11. Staff Qualifications <ul><li>BBBS staff position descriptions </li></ul><ul><li>National Afterschool Association Survey </li></ul><ul><li>National Institute on Out-of-School Time Study </li></ul>
    12. 12. Educational Attainment <ul><li>Position descriptions – Bachelor’s Degree in a human services field </li></ul><ul><ul><li>BBBS Employment Postings </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Staff in After-School Programs: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>67% had a two-year degree or higher </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>55% had a four-year degree or higher </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Additional 8% had completed a special certificate or credential </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Remaining 24% had a high school diploma </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Most common field of study was education </li></ul></ul>
    13. 13. National Institute on Out-of-School Time Study Higher educational attainment among program directors and staff Higher percentage of staff certified as teachers Positive Indicators of Program Quality Higher staff wages
    14. 14. Staff Training <ul><li>Education and training opportunities help programs develop employees with varying qualifications and backgrounds into qualified program staff </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Within an organization  specific job-related tasks </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>General training  mentoring field </li></ul></ul>
    15. 15. Transfer of Training to the Workplace <ul><li>Factors affecting transfer: </li></ul><ul><li>Design of training </li></ul><ul><li>Trainee characteristics </li></ul><ul><li>Work environment characteristics </li></ul><ul><li>Barriers to transfer </li></ul><ul><li>Lack of managerial and peer support </li></ul><ul><li>Time and workload pressures </li></ul><ul><li>Resistance to new ideas </li></ul><ul><li>Short-term perspectives </li></ul><ul><li>Lack of opportunity or responsibility </li></ul><ul><li>Performance and reward structures </li></ul><ul><li>Organizational politics </li></ul>
    16. 16. Training for Mentor Program Staff <ul><li>Annual conferences </li></ul><ul><li>Online training sessions (e.g. webinars) </li></ul><ul><li>Training tools and resources available online </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Mentor Michigan </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>MENTOR – The National Mentoring Partnership </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Public/Private Ventures </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The National Mentoring Center (NMC) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul></ul>
    17. 17. Staff Retention <ul><li>Staff retention as a priority </li></ul><ul><li>Perception of substantial staff turnover in the field of youth mentoring </li></ul><ul><li>Impact of staff turnover: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Monetary </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Burden on remaining staff </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Disruption in the stability and quality of services </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Effect on the sustainability of matches maintained by program staff </li></ul></ul></ul>
    18. 18. Factors for Staff Turnover <ul><li>Large amounts of time focused on difficult and emotionally charged issues </li></ul><ul><li>Necessity to work evenings and weekends </li></ul><ul><li>Pressures and anxieties associated with child safety issues </li></ul><ul><li>Feelings of role overload and burnout </li></ul><ul><li>Emotional exhaustion </li></ul>
    19. 19. Predictors of Staff Retention <ul><li>Individual Factors </li></ul><ul><li>Professional Perceptions </li></ul><ul><li>Organizational Factors </li></ul><ul><li>Importance of Workplace Climate: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>psychological impact of the work environment on the individual worker </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>positive climates  workers remain in their jobs longer, demonstrate better attitudes about work, deliver higher-quality services, and achieve better outcomes for children </li></ul></ul>
    20. 20. ARC Intervention Changing Organizational Culture and Workplace Climate Encouraging worker participation in establishing the direction of the program Participation-based Fostering relationships among co-workers Relationship-centered Providing opportunities for growth, development, and innovation Improvement-directed Recognizing and acknowledging what works, and what doesn’t Results-oriented Motivating staff through the mission of serving youth Mission-driven Translation to youth mentoring: Principle:
    21. 21. ARC Intervention Impact <ul><li>Caseworkers reported less emotional exhaustion, depersonalization, role conflict and role overload </li></ul><ul><li>Dramatic reduction in staff turnover </li></ul><ul><li>Control Group: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>65% left within one year </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Intervention Group: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>39% left within one year </li></ul></ul>
    22. 22. Conclusions <ul><li>Greater attention should be devoted to the recruitment, training and retention of well-qualified and highly competent mentoring professionals. </li></ul><ul><li>Learning more about the impact of staff in youth mentoring could guide the mentoring movement and ultimately improve the quality and quantity of services provided to young people. </li></ul>
    23. 23. Program Staff: Keys to Successful Mentoring Mentoring Program Success Staff Qualifications Staff Retention Staff Training
    24. 24. Staff Qualifications <ul><li>Mentoring programs should hire staff who possess: </li></ul><ul><li>A strong commitment to the program’s mission </li></ul><ul><li>Strong interpersonal skills </li></ul><ul><li>The ability to role model behaviors for mentors </li></ul><ul><li>Previous experience in youth development work </li></ul><ul><li>Excellent written and oral communications skills </li></ul><ul><li>A degree in a field related to mentoring </li></ul><ul><li>A solid history of continuous employment </li></ul>
    25. 25. Staff Training <ul><li>Mentoring programs should offer staff: </li></ul><ul><li>An orientation to the program and work environment </li></ul><ul><li>Initial training on specific duties </li></ul><ul><li>An overview of research on the effectiveness and best practices of mentoring </li></ul><ul><li>Training on positive youth development strategies </li></ul><ul><li>Opportunities to transfer knowledge from training into action </li></ul><ul><li>An individual professional development plan </li></ul><ul><li>Supervisory skills training </li></ul><ul><li>A role in evaluating the effectiveness of training received </li></ul>
    26. 26. Staff Retention <ul><li>Mentoring programs should: </li></ul><ul><li>Create a positive workplace climate </li></ul><ul><li>Understand and address the causes of staff turnover </li></ul><ul><li>Ensure that staff are recognized for high-quality work </li></ul><ul><li>Provide a framework for success </li></ul><ul><li>Budget appropriately to compensate high-quality staff </li></ul><ul><li>Provide access to internal and external mentors/coaches for staff </li></ul>
    27. 27. General Organizational Practices <ul><li>Develop: </li></ul><ul><li>Policy and procedure manual </li></ul><ul><li>Understanding of employment law </li></ul><ul><li>Thorough job descriptions </li></ul><ul><li>Interview protocols </li></ul><ul><li>New employee handbook </li></ul><ul><li>Evaluation of efforts </li></ul><ul><li>Conduct: </li></ul><ul><li>Job analysis of each position </li></ul><ul><li>Background screening </li></ul><ul><li>Assessment of barriers </li></ul><ul><li>Assessment of organizational culture </li></ul><ul><li>Analysis of structures and policies </li></ul><ul><li>Regular performance reviews </li></ul>
    28. 28. MENTOR <ul><li>The leader in expanding the power of mentoring to millions of young Americans who want and need adult mentors. </li></ul><ul><li>Staff Development Section </li></ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Finding Qualified Staff </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Finding a Program Coordinator </li></ul></ul></ul>
    29. 29. National Youth Development Information Center <ul><li>Provides information and resources to youth workers about programming, policy, research, and training related to promoting positive youth development opportunities. </li></ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Recognition and Rewards for Youth Development Workers </li></ul>
    30. 30. U.S. Department of Labor <ul><li>Federal government agency with information and resources on employment. </li></ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Information about employment laws for organizations </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul></ul>
    31. 31. <ul><li>Provides training and technical assistance to youth mentoring programs. </li></ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Mentoring Forums – NEW! </li></ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul>National Mentoring Center
    32. 32. <ul><li>This presentation provides an overview of Research in Action Issue 3: Program Staff in Youth Mentoring Programs: Qualifications, Training, and Retention </li></ul><ul><li>This tool was produced by MENTOR/The National Mentoring Partnership and can be accessed at </li></ul>