Elements of Effective Practice for Mentoring provides a framework for best practices in 1:1 mentoring. See below for links to information on adapting these practices for Project Arrive’s group mentoring context. 

Standard 1: Recruitment

Standard 2: Screening

Standard 3: Training

Standard 4: Matching and Initiating

Standard 5: Monitoring and Support

Standard 6: Closure


Because group mentoring is a fairly new field, there is not much data on best practices. For general guidelines on best practices for group mentoring, find the Checklist for Practitioners below (Kuperminc & Thompson, 2013*):

Topic Recommendations
Structuring groups Keep groups around 4-6 youth for each mentor: larger groups may make group activities difficult and group development slower.


Having at least two mentors per group enhances opportunities for role modeling, and sharing responsibility. Co-mentors with complimentary experiences and characteristics can diversify group experiences


Consider age, race, and gender differences between mentors and mentees.


For more information, see Structuring Mentoring Groups

Recruitment and training of mentors Screen potential mentors using best practices for one-to-one mentoring. Also, see Project Arrive’s resources for mentor recruitment and training on the Be a Mentor! page.


Consult a child therapist with expertise in youth groups.


Training should include topics like risk and resilience, and peer and adult relationships, tailored to the population to be mentored.


Devote substantial time to developing skills in group facilitation (managing multiple roles, stages of group process, handling disruption). More details at Getting Started

Recruitment and training of mentees Establish clear criteria for eligibility, emphasizing shared interests and goals among mentors and group members. See Student Outreach Tips and Outreach Flyer.


Introduce mentees to each other; help them understand the concept of mentoring.


Engage mentees in establishing ground rules, group culture, and understanding how to get the most out of the experience. See the Begininng With a New Group section on the Getting Started page.

Matching Peer-to-peer: Avoid homogenous groups of youth with behavioral problems to limit likelihood of harmful effects; emphasize shared interests.


Mentor-to-mentor: If using multiple mentors, consider how they may compliment one another’s experience, gender roles, energy level, etc.


Mentor(s)-to-group: Match experienced mentors with groups with most potential for difficulties; emphasize shared interests with group members


For more information, see Structuring Mentoring Groups

Cultural competence and ethic identity Assess cultural competence and ethnic identity of mentors and mentees. Incorporate activities that explore identity into the curriculum. See Activities page for ideas.


Identify preferences and concerns regarding matching, comfort with individuals of other groups.


Provide training and ongoing consultation as necessary.


Ongoing supervision, reflection, and planning Monitor group process: Periodic observation by program managers and consistent logging of group activities and processes by mentors.


Document Stages of Group Development and integrate various types of Activities appropriate for the developmental stage. 


Plan for and process ending groups.

*From Kuperminc, G. P., & Thomason, J. D. (2013). Group mentoring. Handbook of youth mentoring, 273-289.