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Mentoring programs - Research Paper Example

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In recent years, there has been a great increase in youth mentoring programs of all kinds and across different contexts (DuBois and Karcher, 2005). In the United States alone, over 4.500 agencies and programs offer mentoring services for young people at risk…
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Mentoring programs

Download file to see previous pages... This particular kind of social work intervention is followed with similar programs all over the world. Both individuals and organizations involved in monitoring are supported with such organizations as MENTOR/National Mentoring Partnership and the National Mentoring Center. Furthermore, numerous corporations sponsor large-scale monitoring initiatives, which involve their employees. Mentoring programs are also supported by the government; in 2003 alone President George W. Bush donated half a billion dollars for two new mentoring initiatives (DuBois and Karcher, 2005).
Recently, mentoring has been approved as a serious approach to rehabilitate criminal offenders and reduce rates of recidivism. Mentoring has appeared in several legislation documents, from the Reauthorization of the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention of 1992 to the Juvenile Delinquency Prevention Block Grant of 2005-2006 (Walker, 2007). In the reauthorization of the original document, the Congress added a part G, in which mentoring was described as a useful tool for addressing juvenile delinquency. Since 1995, the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) has administered its own federal program, the Juvenile Mentoring Program (JUMP), designed to reduce juvenile delinquency, gang participation and school dropout rates.
However, while the field of youth mentoring experiences enormous growth in terms of practice, it still lacks theoretical foundations and research, crucial for further growth and development (DuBois and Karcher, 2005). It was not until recent years that youth mentoring has gained interest from psychologists, sociologists, educators, human development specialists and social workers. While the multidisciplinary character of youth mentoring may be beneficial for the field's knowledge base, it also poses a significant challenge for both researchers and practitioners. Due to the disciplinary boundaries which limit researchers' regular exposure to their colleagues work, it may result difficult to identify opportunities for synergy within and across different areas for inquiry. Consequently, in many cases they can go undetected and unexplored (DuBois and Karcher, 2005). In terms of practice, the difficulty in acquiring "one-stop shopping" for definitive accounts and its implications may result in a compromised capacity for intervention and policy efforts to benefit from available theory and research.
Given all these concerns, it is crucial for scholars to provide the fast-expanding and progressing practice of youth mentoring with both theoretical foundations and research base.
Furthermore, in the light of a recent increase in juvenile violence and high recidivism rates, it is essential to design appropriate measures of prevention, treatment and control of crime (Cord, Widom and Crowell, 2001). The FBI data reveal that in 2001 juveniles comprised 17% of all arrests and 15% of those that involved violent crime. In many cases criminal activity in adolescence leads to such consequences in adult life as homelessness, substance abuse, and mental illness. Moreover, each juvenile offender that becomes a recidivist costs society approximately $1.7 to $ 2.3 million, not to mention great economic, medical, physical and psychological consequences for ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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