Girls Group Mentoring Toolkit

This Girls Group Mentoring Toolkit provides the tools, resources and support to create, implement, deliver and evaluate a quality group mentoring program for girls, ages 9-13, in your community. The Toolkit is intended to be used in a range of communities, and can be adapted to the unique values, needs, strengths and challenges that each community encompasses.

Training

Mentee Training

Training mentees allows them to get the most out of their mentoring experience and is very valuable in setting and managing the expectations of participants. Training should therefore take place before the group begins their roles as mentees, and should be used as an opportunity for participants to meet one another as well as to introduce and start building relationships with the program staff.

Remember that you are working with young girls aged 9−13 who are coming to these programs for a new and fun experience; long training sessions may intimidate the girls or feel too structured or school-like, causing their interest to wane. Consider breaking up your mentee training into short workshops and dividing them across the first few sessions of the program.

Including an intentional ‘girl-directed’ component of the mentor training can also be valuable for addressing the girls’ interests and needs while promoting their engagement. Where possible, create space for girls to direct some of the learning topics or leave room within training sessions for their decision-making on how to address or explore certain topics. Mentee training topics may include:

Consider using a question box!

The Boys & Girls Club of South Coast BC created a question box that is introduced at the beginning of each year and is present for every session. Girls can voice concerns or ask questions about the program or their mentors in a way that is safe and anonymous.

  • Program orientation, goals, policies and expectations.
  • Understanding the role of a mentor and their role as a mentee.
  • Basic communication skills, including what kind of discussion and conversation is appropriate or inappropriate in a group mentoring setting.
  • Problem-solving and conflict-resolution skills.
  • Healthy relationships.
  • Child safety, including identifying abusive or inappropriate behaviour and how to protect themselves.
  • Reporting policies and who they can go to if they have a concern or issue either in or outside of the program.
  • Maintaining healthy boundaries.
  • Confidentiality and understanding the importance of keeping discussions within the group private, as well as understanding the mentor’s obligations around disclosures.
  • How to get the most value out of the program—encouraging girls to speak up, actively participate and make connections.

If it suits your community and your participants, parents or guardians can also be involved in a portion of this training. If timing is an issue, you could have the parents or guardians join just at the beginning or at the end. This can be an effective way to engage parents or guardians in the group and make a connection with them. It can also alleviate any concerns they may have and inform them more about the group.

There may also be space for ongoing training that involves both the mentors and the mentees together. This can be a way of supporting the group dynamic while also covering information pertinent to the program.

Key Take-Aways
Training for both mentors and mentees is an important component of a Girls Group Mentoring Program. It ensures that participants are well prepared and supported in their program experience. This section provided information to help you:

  • Remember that mentor training sets the foundation for a successful mentoring program and a positive experience for mentors and mentees.
  • Review important topics to incorporate in mentor and mentee training sessions.
  • Develop training material that will provide your mentors and mentees with the skills and knowledge needed for positive, sustainable mentoring relationships.

Contact: mentoringgirls(at)canadianwomen.org