Mentoring in social work: Key findings from a women’s community-based mentoring program
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Based on a social intervention research study into mentoring with women from socioeconomically disadvantaged communities, this paper considers some of the key differences between traditional workplace and community-based mentoring when used as a social work intervention. The study involved eighteen women who participated in a preparation-for-mentoring groupwork program for twelve months. Eleven of these participants were then matched with a mentor and supported in this relationship for a further 12 months. Qualitative analysis points to three key factors likely to enhance the success of community-based mentoring relationships: (i) relational qualities, such as trust, engagement, and authenticity, (ii) mentees' readiness for change and ability to overcome adversity, and (iii) mentors' practical assistance with tasks and overcoming obstacles. Social workers implementing a community-based mentoring program need to be mindful of the importance of these factors in order to ensure that mentees are supported to engage effectively in any mentoring relationship and overcome structural, community, and familial barriers that may adversely affect them.
Journal of Social Work Practice
Copyright 2012 Taylor & Francis. This is the author-manuscript version of this paper. Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher. Please refer to the journal website for access to the definitive, published version.
Social Work not elsewhere classified
Clinical Social Work Practice