Standards for public agencies

2020 Edition

Mentoring Services Definition


Individuals participating in Mentoring Services develop supportive, positive relationships that contribute to the achievement of personal, social, and educational growth.


Mentoring Services help to establish supportive, stable, and mutually beneficial relationships between selected mentors and children, youth, or adults in need. Services are typically provided to children, youth, or adults who can benefit from: (1) a role model whose support can help them develop a positive self-image, new behaviors, and coping skills; (2) peer or intergenerational support to help them face identified life challenges or accomplish developmental tasks; and/or (3) companionship. Mentoring services are often part of a larger array of available services.

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Examples: This section can accommodate a wide variety of mentoring programs. For example, mentoring services can take place in a number of different settings, such as in the mentee’s home, in residential treatment or group living settings, on-site at an agency's facilities, in schools, or in the community. The standards can also be appropriate for a variety of mentoring program models including, but not limited to, programs for children and youth, foster grandparent programs, group mentoring programs, family mentoring programs, peer mentoring programs (including those serving individuals with behavioral health needs, such as substance use or mental health conditions), and survivor mentoring programs (e.g. mentoring designed to stabilize and support victims of human trafficking). The section can also accommodate programs that utilize part-time, full-time, volunteer, and/or paid mentors. Accordingly, agencies that provide mentors with travel reimbursements, stipends, or other forms of compensation can be reviewed under this service section.
Note: Please see the PA-MS Reference List for the research that informed the development of these standards.

Note: For information about changes made in the 2020 Edition, please see the MS Crosswalk.