NRPA’s Youth Mentoring Framework

Reprinted from the National Recreation and Park Association

The Youth Mentoring Framework has been developed to help local park and recreation agencies craft their own unique, individualized mentoring programs. It is designed to help your agency leverage local park and recreation assets that build protective factors around at-risk youth, while also forming strong social connections and positive relationships to address trauma, adversity, and other challenges that youth experience.

Framework Development

The Youth Mentoring Framework is rooted in data collected and analyzed across the park and recreation field, encompassing direct feedback from youth, park and recreation staff, and subject matter experts in the mentoring field. It considers common assets found in park and recreation agencies, as well as feedback on the need for self-care, reflection, and mindfulness for both mentors and mentees. In addition, the Youth Mentoring Framework is grounded in the Search Institute’s Developmental Assets Framework. It outlines 40 research-based, positive experiences and factors that influence youth development and leads to positive life outcomes. The more assets individuals have, the less likely they are to engage in risky behaviors.

How to Use the Framework

The Youth Mentoring Framework can be used in both group and one-on-one mentoring settings. It provides suggested guidance for weekly discussions, activities, reflection, and self-care. While the framework provides sixteen weeks of lesson guidelines, mentoring activities can be repeated or expanded on with the goal of supporting a mentor/mentee relationship for a minimum of one year. It includes weekly conversation starters related to the overarching themes, sample activities for mentors and mentees as well as community service projects, family engagement, and self-care tips.

*The Youth Mentoring Framework is not a prescription. Each local park and recreation agency should ensure that their mentoring program reflects the needs of youth in the local community, the unique community culture, and the assets at your organization’s disposal.

Download the Youth Mentoring Framework

To access the resource, please click here.