Mentoring young adults is an admirable decision.
When you decide to begin mentoring youth, remember you are not their:
- Social worker
Remember to consider the broader community when working with mentees. Remember that your mentee’s cultural beliefs may be different than yours. Build a relationship with the family so you can understand their perspective. Ask for the family’s input when planning activities.
When things come up, always be honest with your mentee. Let them know right away if you can’t make it to a meeting.
Don’t Jump to Conclusions
If a mentee misses a meeting, or fails to respond to a message, don’t assume that they are no longer interested. Talk to your supervisor if becomes a frequent issue.
Respect Their Privacy
Keep sensitive information confidential unless it is dangerous to do so. Encourage your mentee to be open and honest with you, but respect their privacy and don’t push. Don’t share information with their family or others unless your mentee is in danger. If you are unsure, ask your supervisor for help.
As a mentor, you are in a position of power. Set appropriate boundaries and stick to them. You should not enter into personal, professional, or financial relationships with your mentee or their family.