MENTOR Canada is committed to expanding access to mentoring for youth in Canada. In collaboration with diverse stakeholders, MENTOR Canada builds sector capacity to empower every young person to fulfil their potential.
As a backbone organization, MENTOR Canada plays a coordinating role in linking researchers, service providers, service recipients, funders and volunteers to achieve real collective impact.
Our work is focused in four key areas: research, technology, partnership networks, awareness building and outreach. This work will support the development of:
- Evidence-based, practitioner-approved guidelines for building and sustaining quality youth mentoring programs
- Tools and resources for mentoring practitioners that provide just in time learning and ongoing professional development
- Strategies to address gaps in mentoring services and opportunities, giving more youth access to a mentor
MENTOR Canada has commissioned SRDC to conduct the first-ever national study of mentoring in Canada, to be completed in spring 2020. The State of Mentoring Research Initiative will focus on:
Mapping the mentoring experiences of youth
We are exploring young people’s access to caring, supportive people – or mentors – when they were aged 6-18, and whether such relationships influenced different parts of their lives. The goal of the survey is to understand whether youth mentoring needs are being met.
We need your help! We are looking for a cross section of Canadians between 18 and 30 to complete this survey.
Capturing the landscape of mentoring programs and services
Survey and discussions taking place in Spring 2020 with representatives from community organizations and the research, youth development, government, philanthropic and corporate sectors to understand the prevalence, practices and scope of mentoring programs in Canada.
Raising the profile of mentoring: Recruiting more mentors across Canada
MENTOR Canada is conducting a national survey to better understand Canadians’ views about youth mentoring and examine their ability to step up and become mentors to children and youth in our communities – whether formally or informally. The findings will help MENTOR Canada and mentoring organizations identify pathways to increase the number of Canadians who support youth mentoring and volunteer to serve as mentors.
To bridge the gap between researchers and service providers, MENTOR Canada, the University of Alberta, and the Alberta Mentoring Partnership are spearheading a new Canadian Centre for Mentoring Research (CCMR). The CCMR’s mission is to advance knowledge about youth mentoring in Canada by generating and supporting rigorous and innovative research. The CCMR will build a network of academics in the field of mentoring to share research, knowledge, best practice, and expand the evidence base in Canada.
The State of Mentoring Research Initiative and the work of the CCMR will support the development of tools and resources to improve the quality of mentoring services in Canada.
Technology is critical to growing the mentoring movement in Canada. Work is underway to identify cutting-edge technology that will increase the quality, accessibility and capacity of mentoring initiatives. We recognize that these solutions must be flexible, scalable and reflect the diverse needs of communities.
Our work will build on the findings of The State of Mentoring Research Initiative with a focus on:
- Auditing technology platforms to assess their applicability in the pan-Canadian context including online access, broadband capabilities and community expectations
- Engaging with partners and stakeholders, including technology-focused sessions at the Canadian Mentoring Symposium 2020 in Ottawa
- Testing the technologies identified through the research for national scaling and amplification, including digital platforms that facilitate mentor-mentee matching, and gathering data for metrics to quantify and assess mentoring initiatives
- Developing and delivering a curated resource centre that includes a comprehensive collection of mentoring literature, tools, and training
To grow the mentoring movement in Canada, our work must be informed from the ground up. MENTOR Canada’s partnership efforts will focus on building a national network of mentoring organizations. We will leverage existing networks and learn from their successes by:
- Facilitating knowledge transfer among providers, mentoring partnerships and academics
- Organizing opportunities for communities of practice
- Creating tools, training and professional development for service providers
- Supporting the Canadian Mentoring Research Network (CMRN), to share research, best practice, and expand the evidence base
As we undertake this critical work, we are reaching out to existing collaborations to identify best practice in network models that meet diverse audiences needs. Using the results of The State of Mentoring Research Initiative, we will develop a map of Canadian service providers, organizations and partnerships and identify network gaps and opportunities. Through our network, we will share grassroots experiences and innovations in service delivery to improve the quality of mentoring programs.
Awareness building and stakeholder communications
MENTOR Canada is actively engaged in public engagement, knowledge mobilization and information sharing to support the mentoring sector. We are also committed to raising public awareness about the positive impact of youth mentoring. Through awareness building campaigns, online engagement, and events, our communications team is leading our stakeholder and public engagement work.
Upcoming campaigns and events include:
- Canadian Mentoring Symposium 2020 – an annual national dialogue featuring new research, innovative practices and dynamic networking opportunities for mentoring organizations, government, academic, corporate and community partners
- Mentoring Month in January 2020, awareness campaign – to spread the word about the value of mentoring
- Employer Outreach Events – hosted in collaboration with business and community partners to recruit more mentors
- Social Media Campaigns – to build awareness and engagement within and outside the mentoring sector
- Research Updates – to mobilize the knowledge from The State of Mentoring in Canada Initiative and build a Canadian Mentoring Research Network