Guide to effective and safe practice in youth mentoring, Aotearoa New Zealand, 2nd edition

Mentoring Training Youth Youth services Child protection New Zealand


The first edition of the Guide to Effective Practice in Youth Mentoring Aotearoa New Zealand (Guide), published in 2008, was a benchmark document commissioned by the Ministry of Youth Development.

It drew together essential knowledge for the emerging youth mentoring sector, providing an informative local resource for all who were interested in mentoring young people and in enhancing the role of mentoring in the wider youth development sector. In subsequent years, the New Zealand Youth Mentoring Network (NZYMN) has been able to use the Guide as a basis for comprehensive national training programmes. This has brought the mutual benefit of widening understanding of effective practices, along with growing the national picture of the range of youth programmes in which mentoring is a significant component.

The second edition of the Guide has been refreshed and updated with the latest research into mentoring practice, as well as safe workforce regulations1 and voluntary worker safety guidance documents 2. The revised Guide also incorporates essential information from the Safe Practice Guidelines published by the Children's Action Plan and NZYMN in 2013.

Mentoring continues to grow in diverse directions and is embedded into a number of different programme contexts and services. The guidelines presented here are intended to be applicable across almost every type of mentoring programme, from stand-alone programmes through to mentoring as part of a broad-based positive youth development programme; from targeting young people at low through to higher risk, and from volunteers to paid mentors.

We hope the Guide will benefit programmes of all sizes and will help ensure the services provided are of high quality, and the mentoring relationships established are safe, effective and well- managed to produce positive outcomes for the young people involved.

Our intention in writing the Guide is to support and encourage effective youth mentoring relationships and programmes, not to prescribe, encumber or discourage – we hope this is reflected in our writing.

In producing the Guide we have consulted with a broad cross-section of mentoring providers, government agencies involved in mentoring, academic researchers and NZYMN trustees. Our aim is to have a continuous dialogue of learning, feedback and reflection on what it takes to provide successful youth mentoring in Aotearoa New Zealand.


1Vulnerable Children’s Act 2014.
2 Safer Recruitment Safer Children, and Safer Organisations Safer Children.

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