Evaluation of the | Reducing Reoffending Change Fund - Research Findings

The independent evaluation of the Reducing Reoffending Change Fund (RRCF) assessed the extent to which the Public Social Partnership (PSP) model delivers effective mentoring services that reduce the risk of reoffending and support reintegration, and concluded that there is a strong case for the continuation and expansion of mentoring services.

Findings on mentoring activities

Although there is no single definition of mentoring, a common feature of different approaches to mentoring in practice is that the mechanism of engagement is based on a one-to-one relationship where two people come together to form a bond (Social Mentoring Research Group, University of Brighton, 2015).

In general, mentoring services were implemented as planned. The timing, frequency and format of contact varied depending on the needs of the individual mentee. The approach used by mentors also varied and depended on the needs and goals of the mentee and the preferred style of the mentor.

However, the most important factor was the development of a close one-to-one relationship between the mentee and the mentor. The following qualities, skills and behaviours were key to building relationships and were consistently demonstrated by mentors: regular contact; being non-judgmental; treating the mentee as an equal; being easy-going; being a relaxing, calming influence; listening; challenging; being persistent; encouraging the mentee to set goals; encouraging mentees to think through consequences; praising and building self-esteem; sharing their own personal experiences and difficulties they have overcome; caring; respecting confidentiality; and encouraging engagement with other services.

Mentees felt that mentors were different to many staff from other services because they were non-judgmental and were focused on them and on their needs and goals.


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