What is mentoring?

Mentoring provides a structured and trusting relationship that brings young people together with caring individuals who offer guidance, support and encouragement.
The mentor is not a replacement for a parent, nor are they a counsellor or teacher. They are a sounding board and confidant to the young person.

How does mentoring help?

Research has shown young people are:

•    less likely to become involved in criminal activity,
•    less likely to become involved in drug taking and alcohol abuse
•    less likely to leave school early
•    more likely to have improved academic performance
•    have better relationships with teachers and family compared to peers who are not mentored.

Different types of mentoring

Mentoring can focus on particular areas including:

•    Social and emotional wellbeing.

Mentoring to assist young people to increase self-esteem, self-efficacy and resilience by actively supporting their social and emotional wellbeing. The focus includes improving both the young person’s life skills and the positive connections they have with their community.

•    Individual talents and leadership.

Mentoring to assist young people to further develop their individual talents and/or leadership skills in a specific area (e.g. sports, photography, drama) in order for them to reach their full potential.

•    Identity, culture and faith.

Mentoring to assist young people to grow in their understanding of their faith and/or culture and cultural identity. The program actively supports young people to be proud and confident of their identity and culture and to be able to exercise this in their community.

•    Youth justice and crime prevention.

Mentoring to assist young people to avoid anti-social and offending behaviours by encouraging connectedness with positive elements in their community and increasing protective factors.

•    Education, training and employment.

Mentoring to assist young people to positively engage in and maintain their participation in education, training and employment. These programs assist young people to develop a vision for their future and provide support to achieve their education, training and career goals.

There are two main types of delivery:

Face to face. The mentoring sessions are held in person, face to face.

e-mentoring. Electronic mentoring uses technology to connect the mentor with the young person. This can be text based or using voice over internet protocol (VOIP) and emerging text, data and video technologies.

More information



The South Australian Mentoring Network provides an inclusive voice
for mentoring initiatives with opportunities for sharing and professional
support to our diverse membership.