About Mentoring - Alberta Human Services - Government of Alberta

About Mentoring

What is mentoring?

Mentoring is the presence of a caring individual who provides a young person with support, advice, friendship, reinforcement and constructive role modelling over time. Source: www.albertamentors.ca

Mentoring Program Models Defined

The following list contains definitions for some mentoring program models that are supported by the Community Partnerships Youth Grants. Please note that this is not an exhaustive list. Your program may still meet criteria for funding if your program model is not included in this list. For more information about eligibility criteria for the Community Partnerships Youth Grants, please visit our Criteria page or contact the Community Grants and Programs Coordinator at 780-422-2165.

Career Mentoring

Focus to assist the child, youth or group being mentored in acquiring the skills and knowledge needed to advance to, or begin on a career path. Source: AMP Framework for Building Mentoring Relationships in Schools

Cascading OR Tri Mentoring

Also known as Cascading Mentoring, this type of mentoring happens when a mentee in one relationship becomes a mentor in another relationship – often to a peer or a younger person. All mentors in this structure require ongoing training and support. Sometimes referred to as Big/Middle/Little. Source: AMP The Role of a Community Leader

Cultural Mentoring

Focus is to share the customs, values and practices of a specific culture, tradition or group with the child, youth or group being mentored. Source: AMP Framework for Building Mentoring Relationships in Schools

Cross Age Peer Mentoring

Peers or youth who are older (typically 3 years or school grades higher), more knowledgeable, or have advanced skills serve as mentors to younger peers. Source: www.albertamentors.ca

Group Mentoring

This is where a group of mentors are matched with a larger group of youth, ideally in a one mentor to two youth ratio. In this structure there is an opportunity for individual relationships to emerge more naturally, and youth to learn how to function well in groups and develop friendships. This structure appeals to adults who like working as a team and allows for some flexibility in attendance. Source: AMP The Role of a Community Leader

One-to-one Mentoring

This very personalized form of mentoring consists of one mentor and one mentee. Success in this type of mentoring requires the careful matching of personalities, the coordination of two schedules and ongoing monitoring to support the success of the mentoring relationship. Source: AMP The Role of a Community Leader

Social Skills or Personal Mentoring

Focus is aimed at supporting a particular population to address issues common to that group, or at building particular behaviours and practices, or at supporting an individual or group through a critical time of change development. Source: AMP Framework for Building Mentoring Relationships in Schools

Team Mentoring

Matches several mentors working with small groups of children or young people. Source: AMP Framework for Building Mentoring Relationships in Schools

Teen Mentoring

Matches high school and upper middle school teens as mentors with younger students. Matches could be one-on-one, one teen with two or three younger students, two or three teens with a small group of younger students or a configuration that works for both school situations. This type of mentoring requires additional support. Source: AMP Framework for Building Mentoring Relationships in Schools

Effective Practices for Mentoring

Latest research and evidence suggests that the following practices are associated with effective mentoring relationships. The degree of applicability of each practice may vary depending on the type of program model. For more information on the effective practices for mentoring, please view the source document for this information, Elements of Effective Practice for Mentoring.


Recruit appropriate mentors and mentees by realistically describing the program’s aims and expected outcomes.


Screen prospective mentors to determine whether they have the time, commitment, and personal qualities to be a safe and effective mentor and screen prospective mentees, and their parents or guardians, about whether they have the time, commitment, and desire to be effectively mentored.


Train prospective mentors, mentees, and mentees’ parents (or legal guardians or responsible adult) in the basic knowledge, attitudes, and skills needed to build an effective and safe mentoring relationship using language and tools that are culturally sensitive and inclusive of diverse youth populations, including Indigenous youth, multicultural youth, youth with mental health concerns, youth in Government care and LGBTQ2S+ youth.

Matching and Initiating

Match mentors and mentees, and initiate the mentoring relationship using strategies likely to increase the odds that mentoring relationships will endure and be effective.

Monitoring and support

Monitor mentoring relationship milestones and child safety; and support matches through providing ongoing advice, problem-solving, training, and access to resources for the duration of each relationship.


Facilitate bringing the match to closure in a way that affirms the contributions of the mentor and mentee, and offers them the opportunity to prepare for the closure and assess the experience.

Additional Information and Resources

For more information about mentoring or access to additional resources, please visit the Alberta Mentoring Partnership website.

Modified: 2018-01-26
PID: 18480