Standards for public agencies

2020 Edition

Mentoring Services (PA-MS) 8: Supervising and Monitoring Relationships

Matches are routinely monitored to support the development of positive mentoring relationships.
2020 Edition

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Individuals participating in Mentoring Services develop supportive, positive relationships that contribute to the achievement of personal, social, and educational growth.
Full Implementation, Outstanding Performance
A rating of (1) indicates that the agency's practices fully meet the standard and reflect a high level of capacity.  
  • All elements or requirements outlined in the standard are evident in practice, with rare or no exceptions: exceptions do not impact service quality or agency performance. 
Substantial Implementation, Good Performance
A rating of (2) indicates that an agency's infrastructure and practices are basically sound but there is room for improvement.
  • The majority of the standards requirements have been met and the basic framework required by the standard has been implemented. 
  • Minor inconsistencies and not yet fully developed practices are noted; however, these do not significantly impact service quality or agency performance.

Partial Implementation, Concerning Performance
A rating of (3) indicates that the agency's observed infrastructure and/or practices require significant improvement.  

  • The agency has not implemented the basic framework of the standard but instead has in place only part of this framework.  
  • Omissions or exceptions to the practices outlined in the standard occur regularly, or practices are implemented in a cursory or haphazard manner.  
  • Service quality or agency functioning may be compromised.  
  • Capacity is at a basic level.
Unsatisfactory Implementation or Performance
A rating of (4) indicates that implementation of the standard is minimal or there is no evidence of implementation at all.  
  • The agency’s observed service delivery infrastructure and practices are weak or non-existent; or show signs of neglect, stagnation, or deterioration.
Self-Study EvidenceOn-Site EvidenceOn-Site Activities
  • Procedures for monitoring and supervising matches
  • Procedures for closing matches
No On-Site Evidence
  • Interviews may include:
    1. Program director
    2. Relevant personnel
    3. Mentors
    4. Mentees
    5. Parents/legal guardians of mentees, when applicable
  • Review personnel and case files for mentors
  • Review case files for mentees


PA-MS 8.01

The agency documents: 
  1. all meetings involving the mentor’s supervisor, the mentor, the mentee, and involved parents or legal guardians, as applicable; and
  2. the date, duration, and activities completed at each mentoring meeting.


Whether mentors are paid or volunteer, their case files should be separate from their personnel or HR records.


PA-MS 8.02

Mentor supervisors monitor the appropriateness and effectiveness of the match, and support mentors and mentees, by providing:
  1. regular contact with mentors and mentees;
  2. assistance with practical problems;
  3. suggestions or directions regarding behavior or future activity; and
  4. reassurance and recognition of the value of the mentor’s efforts.


Contact and monitoring may need to be more frequent, and support more extensive, if a match is in its early stages, if a match is considered to be in jeopardy of premature closing, or if mentees face special challenges (e.g., juvenile justice involvement, mental health or substance use conditions, or experience with human trafficking. Programs serving victims of human trafficking may need to provide additional oversight of the mentoring relationship to ensure the physical and psychological health of both parties.
Examples: Contact with mentors and mentees may occur weekly, bi-weekly, monthly, or quarterly, depending on the stage and nature of the mentoring relationship. In addition to regular contacts with supervisors, mentors may also receive ongoing support through group activities such as training and support sessions. 
Note: When paid program staff are used as mentors, the content addressed in this standard should be incorporated into the agency's training and supervision system for the mentoring program (see PA-PDS 1, PA-PDS 2, and PA-PDS 4).

Fundamental Practice

PA-MS 8.03

When the program serves children, youth, or dependent adults the agency involves parents or legal guardians in monitoring the appropriateness and effectiveness of the match, checking in with them at least:
  1. biweekly, during the first month of mentoring;
  2. monthly, for the remainder of the first year; and
  3. quarterly, after the first year.


Program design may determine who is responsible for contacting parents or legal guardians. While a mentor supervisor will typically conduct these check-ins when mentors are volunteers, it may be appropriate for mentors to do so if they are full-time staff.

If the agency has trouble obtaining input from parents or legal guardians, it may also be appropriate to seek input from other involved adults. For example, school-based programs can involve teachers or other school personnel who interact with the mentee. If another agency (such as a juvenile justice agency) retains temporary custody of the mentee it is sufficient to contact and obtain information from that agency.
NA The agency does not serve children, youth, or dependent adults.
Examples: Contact with parents or legal guardians may occur in person or by phone. It may be appropriate to contact parents or legal guardians more frequently if a match is considered to be in jeopardy of premature closure.


PA-MS 8.04

When it is necessary to close a match, the agency ensures that the relationship ends in a planned, constructive manner.


Program design may determine who is responsible for closing the match. When mentors are full-time staff, it may be appropriate for the mentor to implement match closing procedures unless otherwise indicated.
Examples: It may be necessary to close a match for a variety of reasons, including, for example: if the mentor or mentee relocates, if the match is determined to be unsuitable or inappropriate, or if the match is designed to end at a specific time, such as school-based matches designed to end when the school year ends.


PA-MS 8.05

If a mentee has to leave the program unexpectedly, the agency makes every effort to identify other service options and link the mentee with appropriate services.