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Theories & Approaches

All Theories & Approaches

Implications for Practice

There are many youth development agencies providing services in the area of adolescent sexual health. A mentoring program administered at a school setting would look different from one administered at a community center, or hospital, or school-linked clinic. When designing a mentoring program, there are three operating principles to consider:

  1. Mentoring that produces significant outcomes must be based on a solid program design. (See Getting Started for more information on program design.)


  2. Mentoring needs to be integrated into the overall vision, mission and practice of the agency. An agency considering mentoring needs to spend time considering the role of mentoring in relation to other programs and services. In the absence of a natural and constructive fit, it will be difficult to develop and sustain a successful mentoring program.


  3. Mentoring should be viewed within the overall context of youth development in a given service area. In other words, if there are other agencies in your service area that manage effective youth mentoring programs, your agency's most effective approach to mentoring might be entering into a formal or informal collaborative effort with these agencies.

To help illustrate the practice of youth mentoring as a pregnancy prevention strategy, two case studies of mentoring programs that work with pregnant and parenting teens are presented in the next section.

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