The following links are a collection of digital resources that provide information about mentoring from the mentee's perspective. I Am Whole is not responsible for the upkeep of other organizations websites, articles or documentation. We simple provide a group of helpful links in one location for your convenience.

Involving Parents in Mentoring Programs

Involving parents in mentoring services is one of the best things a program can do to ensure its success. Programs whose parents, guardians, and other caregivers work in concert with mentors and program staff are more likely to see positive changes in youth and improved program outcomes. There are some aspects of involving parents that can be challenging. Today’s parents are busy and your program’s competing for their time and energy with other school and community obligations. Sometimes parents have conflicting feelings about the role of the mentor, concerns about safety, and specific values or beliefs that can make their, and their child’s, participation in a mentoring program difficult or unlikely. Fortunately, there are several simple strategies mentoring programs can employ to get parents on board and actively involved in your program’s work.

Why Parental Involvement Matters

There is a long history of research into the impact parental involvement has on academic achievement, child and adolescent development, and the socialization of young people that makes it clear no one has the ability to influence children’s development more than parents (or other adult primary care providers). Research into the relationship between parents and mentoring outcomes suggests that much of the impact on mentoring programs may be due to the role the parent plays. In Jean Rhodes’ groundbreaking research of mentoring relationships (Rhodes, Grossman, and Resch, 2000), she determined that improved parental relationships for mentored youth acted as a mediator of the youth outcomes:

. . . mentoring relationships led to increases in the levels of intimacy, communication, and trust adolescents felt towards their parents. These improvements, in turn, led to positive changes in a wide array of areas, such as the adolescents’ sense of self-worth and scholastic achievement. (Rhodes, 2002, pp. 40–41)

Just how this mentoring-generated improvement in parent relations happens is unclear. Rhodes speculates that it may simply be the result of improved communication and “reduced tension” between parent and youth due to the mentor’s influence. Or, it could be the result of mentoring leading to significant improvements in the youth’s self-perception and ability to form meaningful relationships. Regardless, an improvement in mentees’ connectedness to parents appears to be an indicator of other successful outcomes.

At a more practical level, parental involvement also impacts youth participation. Research by David DuBois found that mentoring relationships were more likely to succeed in programs that reached out to parents as the match progressed, soliciting their feedback and addressing their concerns (DuBois et al., 2002). Getting “buy-in” from parents can provide relationships with the stability and support they need to flourish. Thus, mentoring programs that can get parents involved in the goals and support of the mentoring relationship are connecting to the most important resource they can.

While the real magic of mentoring happens in the mentor-mentee relationship, there are several easy things mentoring programs can do to increase parental involvement in the program itself. These activities, both pre- and post-match, calm fears, clarify expectations, and set the table for those improved parent relations and youth outcomes.
The Mentoring Fact Sheet is published by: U.S. Department of Education Mentoring Resource Center 771 Oak Avenue Parkway, Suite 2 Folsom, CA 95630 MRC Hotline: 1 (877) 579-4788, fax: (916) 983-6693 E-mail: Web:

F.A.Q. | The Mentoring Partnership of Southwestern PA
The Mentoring Partnership of Southwestern PA helps children by delivering resources to mentoring programs throughout our region.

Our Services - The Center for Women Pittsburgh
The Center for Women offers financial workshops, career workshops, mentoring, internships, financial coaching, and more for Pittsburgh women in transition.

Pittsburgh | SWSG
Strong Women, Strong Girls strives to support positive mentoring relationships between college women and pre-adolescent girls in underserved local communities with the vision that every girl realize her inner strengths to dream and do.

National Mentoring Partnership
MENTOR fuels the quantity and quality of mentoring relationships for the world's young people while closing the mentoring gap.

Featured Stories