By Sandra K. Soucie, M.A.   Director of Innovation and Impact

A Focus on Quality Mentoring in Connecticut

2015 was a year of great success for Connecticut mentoring programs and we are pleased to have the opportunity to provide expertise and support to programs throughout the state. 

Why are standards for mentoring programs so important?  High-quality mentoring has consistently been shown to yield positive results in youth including improved academics, decreased absenteeism, improved social and emotional skills and many other benefits.  More than ever, funders are guided to support mentoring programs following quality standards and able to demonstrate an impact on the youth served.  The Partnership is committed to initiatives that support programs like yours.

In the fall of 2015, MENTOR: The National Mentoring Partnership released the new Elements of Effective Practice for MentoringTM.  This updated set of best practices was a result of an exhaustive review of research on mentoring and provides programs with guidance to maximize their impact on the youth they serve.  As The Partnership receives additional resources and training materials from MENTOR, we will continue to provide opportunities for programs in Connecticut to attend trainings and receive consultation as part of a continuous improvement process.  Stay tuned for more information on upcoming trainings starting in the spring of 2016.

We are excited to have six programs participating in the Quality Mentoring System (QMS) initiative, part of a national study designed to look at the impact of a quality improvement process on mentoring programs. These programs complete organizational, staff, and mentor surveys, as well as an extensive self-assessment looking at their program design and management, operations, and evaluation.  By committing to this process, the programs will develop a plan for continuous improvement and designation as a national quality mentoring system member.  Through involvement in pilot initiatives like this one, we are able to ensure programs can demonstrate their strengths and identify areas for improvement.

Additionally, 24 programs throughout the state have also received a total of over 350 free hours of technical assistance provided by The Partnership through the National Mentoring Resource Center. Partnership staff has provided support in areas such as mentor recruitment, training, identifying and developing corporate partnerships, developing a program logic model, surveys and evaluation. This is an opportunity to get customized consultation for your mentoring program, whether you are a newer program or a well-established one.  We are currently planning our 2016 technical assistance schedule, so this is the perfect time to make a request for your program!

To discuss the implementation of evidenced-based practices in your program, please contact Sandi Soucie, Director of Innovation and Impact at, (860) 523-8042 x 50.