Screening Your Mentors

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Please note: The information in this chapter may have changed since the original writing of this guide. YouthBuild programs are strongly encouraged to research the processes that govern these types of checks in their local area and obtain the advice of law enforcement and legal counsel when necessary to ensure that their screening process is appropriate.

Key Resources and Forms for this Section

All potential YouthBuild mentors should be diligently screened for both safety and suitability. Before reviewing the specific screening methods your YouthBuild mentoring program will employ, let’s examine the general purpose of screening in mentoring programs.

Youth safety is paramount, but there are other considerations, as well. Mentors need to be suitable for the role they are about to embrace, and there are even ethical considerations to keep in mind as you develop your screening approach. The work of Dr. Jean Rhodes and others highlights several of the key ethical guidelines that all mentors must respect:

  1. Promote the welfare and safety of the young person
  2. Be trustworthy and responsible
  3. Act with integrity
  4. Promote justice for young people
  5. Respect the young person’s rights and dignity

(Adapted from First Do No Harm: Ethical Principles for Youth Mentoring Relationships, PDF)