Reviewing a research article on youth mentoring in the USA by Jean E. Rhodes and David L. DuBois (Understanding and Facilitating the Youth Mentoring Movement. Jean E. Rhodes and David L. DuBois; Social Policy Report of the Society for Research in Child Development; Volume XX, Number 111; 2006), Joseph A Durlak, Loyola University Chicago writes:

Your mentoring program is more likely to be effective if you:


Select mentors who have previous relevant experience in helping. Not everyone is a good mentor.
Require a long (at least 12 months) commitment from mentors.

Carefully train and support your mentors, and help structure their activities with their mentees.

Monitor program implementation. Anticipate that some things will go wrong; they usually do.

Involve parents as much as possible.

Remember that if not done carefully, mentoring can harm participating youth! Evaluate your programs and be ready to change practices as needed.

– Joseph A. Durlak