Theories & Approaches
This brief overview of youth mentoring began with the observation that the fractured community context of many Western societies has created barriers and distance between generations and that youth development interventions have, in part, been necessitated by this intergenerational distance.
Health educators, social workers, educators, and community activists are confronted with a range of intervention approaches that have partly been developed out of this intergenerational void. Youth mentoring is only one of many youth development approaches and is capable of producing moderate outcomes.
So, is youth mentoring the right intervention for your agency? The answer lies within the culture and context of your agency and the mandates that drive your programming efforts.
Many youth development professionals are looking for approaches that engage communities in the process of restoring and closing the intergenerational divide in an effort to support youth in achieving a healthy and safe transition to adulthood. Youth at risk for pregnancy, or who are already pregnant or parenting, are especially in need of this type of community care and support. In this context, mentoring offers a compelling story and holds promise as a useful strategy for youth development and adolescent pregnancy prevention.