How Family Mentoring Works

What a Mentor Does

A mentor is trained to offer both practical and emotional support by helping to:

  • recognize and appreciate the family’s unique strengths
  • define and set goals and action steps
  • encourage family members to take action toward their goals
  • review progress regularly
  • provide a link to the larger community by identifying and locating community resources
  • celebrate each achievement along the way

Selecting Mentors

Mentors are chosen from volunteer candidates who apply for the program. They supply complete background information. Volunteers are thoroughly interviewed and screened, including reference checks. They complete twelve hours of training and participate in support sessions during their service as mentors.

How Families Begin Mentoring

Participation in the mentoring program is always voluntary. It is an adult-to-adult relationship of mutual respect that starts when an Interfaith Hospitality Network or other human services organization refers a family to a local mentoring program. The mentoring director determines the appropriateness of mentoring for the family, based on conversations with the family.

Making a Match

The mentoring director matches families and mentors and assures they understand and commit to program purpose and policies. The family and mentor agree to meet weekly for approximately one year to focus on defining goals and steps to achieve them.

The paths that matches take vary widely, based on the goals pursued by each family. The program director monitors and supports each partnership during the entire match. Matches are formally closed at an appropriate time, but often relationships continue informally.

If you would like to start a Family Mentoring program in your community, please call (908) 273-1100, extension 13, or email:

Join Us

Help share the promise