Research In Action: Issue 3


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Program Staff in Youth Mentoring Programs: Qualifications, Training and Retention with Tom Keller, Ph.D. - April 1, 2009

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  • Research In Action: Issue 3

    1. 1. RESEARCH IN ACTION ISSUE 3 Program Staff in Youth Mentoring Programs: Qualifications, Training and Retention
    2. 2. Research In Action: Overview of Series Last year, MENTOR released the National Agenda for Action: How to Close America’s Mentoring Gap . Representing the collective wisdom of the mentoring field, the Agenda articulates five key strategies and action items necessary to move the field forward and truly close the mentoring gap. In an effort to address one of these critical strategies—elevating the role of research—MENTOR created the Research and Policy Council , an advisory group composed of the nation’s leading mentoring researchers, policymakers, and practitioners. In September 2006, MENTOR convened the first meeting of the Research and Policy Council with the goal of increasing the connection and exchange of ideas among practitioners, policymakers, and researchers to strengthen the practice of youth mentoring. The Research in Action series is the first product to evolve from the work of the Council—taking current mentoring research and translating it into useful, user-friendly materials for mentoring practitioners.
    3. 3. Research In Action Issues: Issue 1: Mentoring: A Key Resource for Promoting PYD Issue 2: Effectiveness of Mentoring Program Practices Issue 3: Program Staff in Youth Mentoring Programs Issue 4: Fostering Close and Effective Relationships Issue 5: Why Youth Mentoring Relationships End Issue 6: School-Based Mentoring Issue 7: Cross-Age Peer Mentoring Issue 8: Mentoring Across Generations: Engaging Age 50+ Adults Issue 9: Youth Mentoring: Do Race and Ethnicity Really Matter? Issue 10: Mentoring: A Promising Intervention for Children of Prisoners
    4. 4. Using the Research In Action Series <ul><li>Research: a peer-reviewed article, written by a leading researcher, summarizing the latest research available on the topic and its implications for the field; </li></ul><ul><li>Action: a tool, activity, template, or resource, created by MENTOR, with concrete suggestions on how practitioners can incorporate the research findings into mentoring programs; and </li></ul><ul><li>Resources: a list of additional resources on the topic for further research. </li></ul>
    5. 5. MPM Webinar Series <ul><li>Review RESEARCH presented in peer-reviewed article </li></ul><ul><li>ACTION dialogue – how can you incorporate the research findings into your program? </li></ul><ul><li>Share RESOURCES with others in the field </li></ul>
    6. 6. Issue 3 – Program Staff in Youth Mentoring Programs: Qualifications, Training and Retention <ul><li>Thomas E. Keller, Ph.D., Portland State University </li></ul>
    7. 7. Issue 3 - Overview <ul><li>Introduction </li></ul><ul><li>Staff Qualifications </li></ul><ul><li>Staff Training </li></ul><ul><li>Staff Retention </li></ul><ul><li>Organizational Practices Checklist </li></ul>
    8. 8. Value of Program Infrastructure <ul><li>Evidence from a meta-analysis of evaluation studies indicates that the effectiveness of youth mentoring programs is directly associated with the number of theoretically and empirically supported practices they employ. </li></ul>
    9. 9. Meta-Analysis (DuBois et al., 2002) <ul><li>Program practices predictive of stronger positive effects on youth outcomes </li></ul>Structured activities for mentors and youth Ongoing (post-match) training for mentors Clearly established expectations for frequency of mentor-youth contact Using mentors with backgrounds in helping roles or professions Use of community settings for mentoring Procedures for systematic monitoring of program implementation Support for parent involvement
    10. 10. 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>
    11. 11. Many Hats - Mentor Program Staff Direct practice Volunteer managers Case managers
    12. 12. Parallel Fields Youth Development Nature of Workforce Child Welfare Workers Nature of Work
    13. 13. Staff Qualifications <ul><li>BBBS Review </li></ul><ul><li>National Afterschool Association Survey </li></ul><ul><li>National Institute on Out-of-School Time Study </li></ul>
    14. 14. BBBS Review <ul><li>Commonly stated qualification is a bachelor’s degree in a human services field </li></ul>
    15. 15. National Afterschool Association Survey <ul><li>67% had a two-year degree or higher </li></ul><ul><li>55% had a four-year degree or higher </li></ul><ul><li>8% had completed a special certificate or credential </li></ul><ul><li>24% had a high school diploma </li></ul><ul><li>Most common field of study was education </li></ul>
    16. 16. National Institute on Out-of-School Time Study Positive Indicators of Program Quality Higher educational attainment Higher percentage of staff certified as teachers Higher staff wages
    17. 17. Staff Training <ul><li>Education and training opportunities help programs develop employees with varied qualifications into qualified program staff </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Intra-organizational training of staff to perform specific job-related tasks </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Training to establish a common body of knowledge for practice </li></ul></ul>
    18. 18. Transfer of Training <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 & 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>
    19. 19. Training opportunities should be tied to important transitions <ul><li>Internship - transition from student to work </li></ul><ul><li>Entry-level - transition to professional role </li></ul><ul><li>Leadership development - transition to leader in organization </li></ul><ul><li>Master practitioner - transition to leader in the field </li></ul>
    20. 20. Building Exemplary Systems for Training Youth Workers (BEST) <ul><li>Comprehensive professional development systems that: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Establish partnerships with local colleges and universities </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Encourage interagency collaboration and knowledge sharing </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Pool resources to train and support youth workers in 15 cities across nation </li></ul></ul>
    21. 21. BEST Outcomes <ul><li>AYD youth development curriculum for entry-level, direct-service workers </li></ul><ul><li>AYD Curriculum for the Supervision of Youth Workers </li></ul><ul><li>Participants not only improved understanding of youth development principles but also made shifts in program practices </li></ul>
    22. 22. <ul><li> </li></ul>
    23. 23. Training for Mentor Program Staff <ul><li>MENTOR & State Partnerships </li></ul><ul><li>Annual Conferences </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Minnesota Mentoring Conference, Oct. 19! </li></ul></ul><ul><li>National Mentoring Center </li></ul><ul><li>Public/Private Ventures </li></ul><ul><li>Summer Institute on Youth Mentoring </li></ul>
    24. 24. Staff Retention <ul><li>Retention of qualified staff is a priority in most organizations </li></ul><ul><li>However, there is a perception of substantial staff turnover in the field of youth mentoring </li></ul>
    25. 25. Impact of Turnover <ul><li>Monetary impact on organizations due to costs associated with separation, replacement and training </li></ul><ul><li>Negative consequences for morale of remaining co-workers burdened with extra work </li></ul><ul><li>Disruptions in continuity and quality of services </li></ul>
    26. 26. 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>
    27. 27. Predictors of Staff Retention <ul><li>Individual Factors </li></ul><ul><li>Professional Perceptions </li></ul><ul><li>Organizational Factors </li></ul>
    28. 28. Workplace Climate <ul><li>Workers experiencing more </li></ul><ul><li>positive organizational climates: </li></ul><ul><li>remain in jobs longer </li></ul><ul><li>demonstrate better attitudes about work </li></ul><ul><li>deliver higher-quality services </li></ul><ul><li>achieve better outcomes for children </li></ul>
    29. 29. ARC Intervention – Five Guiding Principles <ul><li>Mission-driven </li></ul><ul><li>Results-oriented </li></ul><ul><li>Improvement-directed </li></ul><ul><li>Relationship-centered </li></ul><ul><li>Participation-based </li></ul>
    30. 30. 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>23% after controlling for other factors 89% after controlling for other factors 39% left within one year 65% left within one year Intervention Group Control Group
    31. 31. Implications for Mentoring Programs <ul><li>Likelihood of retaining qualified staff may be enhanced when the culture and climate experienced by employees embodies the stated values of the program </li></ul>
    32. 32. Conclusions <ul><li>Greater attention should be devoted to the recruitment, training and retention of well-qualified and highly competent mentoring professionals. </li></ul>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.
    33. 33. Program Staff: Keys to Successful Mentoring Mentoring Program Success Staff Qualifications Staff Retention Staff Training
    34. 34. ACTION Dialogue <ul><li>What qualifications are required for staff in your program? </li></ul><ul><li>Does your organization have a professional development plan? </li></ul><ul><li>Is staff retention/turnover an issue in your program? </li></ul>
    35. 35. Share RESOURCES <ul><li>MPM Training </li></ul><ul><li>Web sites & PDFs </li></ul><ul><li>This presentation & others </li></ul>
    36. 36. MENTOR/National Mentoring Partnership <ul><li>The leader in expanding the power of mentoring to millions of young Americans who want and need adult mentors. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Finding a Qualified Program Coordinator </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Finding Qualified Staff </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Job Description for Program Staff </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Training Topics for Staff </li></ul></ul>
    37. 37. 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><li>Recognition and Rewards for Youth Development Workers </li></ul>
    38. 38. U.S. Department of Labor <ul><li>Federal government agency with information and resources on employment. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Information about employment laws for organizations </li></ul></ul>
    39. 39. THANK YOU! <ul><li>Next webinar is Wednesday, May 6; 12-1pm CST </li></ul><ul><li>Issue 3: Fostering Close and Effective Relationships in Youth Mentoring Programs   featuring Jean Rhodes, Ph.D. </li></ul>