Public Policy Forum Research
Mentoring in Milwaukee: Developing a Regional Mentoring Network
Dozens of organizations provide mentoring opportunities for youth in Milwaukee. Those organizations have collectively determined that a formal mentoring network is needed to coordinate regional mentoring efforts and help build the capacity needed to connect all youth who could benefit from mentoring with a suitable mentor. The Forum was commissioned by the Milwaukee Public Schools and City of Milwaukee to facilitate a strategic planning effort aimed at establishing such a network. This report describes the new strategic direction determined by the stakeholders group and highlights insights gleaned from our national research.
Key services and activities of a Milwaukee mentoring network:
- Leading region-wide campaigns to encourage mentorship through advertisements, coordinated efforts on social media, special events that celebrate mentoring, agency training on recruitment, and use of a web-based online volunteer inquiry form;
- Supporting staff development for mentoring organizations through specialized trainings and an annual conference;
- Evaluating the strengths and weaknesses of mentoring programs based on national best practices to identify challenges and opportunities and to monitor growth;
- Providing technical assistance to mentoring organizations based on the results of their program evaluations; and
- Collecting and synthesizing community-wide mentoring data to identify gaps in service and to track progress made over time.