About this guide

About this guide

About this guide

The Mentoring Programs: A Guide for Local Drug Action Teams (the ‘Guide’) has been developed by the Alcohol and Drug Foundation to support Local Drug Action Teams (LDATs) in developing effective mentoring programs.

We hope the Guide will benefit communities across Australia and will help ensure programs are of high quality, and mentoring relationships are safe, effective and well-managed to produce positive outcomes for the young people involved.

The Guide draws on evidence from a number of fields including public health, alcohol and drugs, and mentoring. It aligns with the Australian Youth Mentoring Benchmarks which outline a number of standards that programs must achieve in order to have a strong, successful and sustainable program1, and was developed in consultation with Local Drug Action Teams.


The Guide has been developed for communities involved with the Alcohol and Drug Foundation’s Local Drug Action Team Program.

The Local Drug Action Team Program supports community organisations across Australia to work together (in Local Drug Action Teams, or LDATs) to develop evidence informed initiatives to prevent harms from alcohol and other drugs in their local area. Local Drug Action Teams are a partnership of local organisations and may include local councils, health services, youth services, employment agencies, sports teams, schools, businesses and police, among others.

The Guide supports community organisations from across different sectors, including organisations that don’t have expertise or experience in the alcohol and other drug (AOD) field.


The purpose of this Guide is to support Local Drug Action Teams (LDATs) to deliver mentoring programs in their local community. The guide provides a ready reference manual, offering practical advice and guidance on how to deliver high-quality, effective and safe mentoring programs for young people.

In particular, it will help LDATs to:

  • ensure they have everything in place to deliver a successful mentoring program
  • deliver a program that is informed by evidence, and responsive to local data and need
  • streamline day-to-day operations
  • build knowledge and understanding of how to prevent and minimise the harm caused by alcohol and other drugs, and support young people to live healthy and fulfilling lives, unlimited by alcohol and drug harm.

How to use this Guide

This Guide provides LDATs with everything you need to deliver a high-quality Mentoring Program in your local community, including:

  • Background information - builds LDAT’s knowledge and understanding of important concepts in the alcohol and other drugs (AOD) field. LDATs can use this section to ensure that all community groups, partners, staff and volunteers understand the core concepts relating to community-based efforts to prevent alcohol and drug harms.
  • Introduction to mentoring - explores what mentoring is and the benefits of mentoring programs for young people, mentors, the community and organisations. It will help LDATs to understand mentoring, and how mentoring programs can work to prevent and minimise alcohol and other drug harms.
  • Mentoring program design and planning - outlines the key steps and considerations for designing and planning a Mentoring Program. It supports LDATs to develop Mentoring Programs that are informed by evidence, responsive to local data and need, and can be used to support the development of Community Action Plans.
  • Recruitment of mentors and mentees - defines the roles of mentors and mentees and provides guidance on promoting the Mentoring Program and recruiting participants. It supports LDATs to deliver a targeted recruitment strategy to attract appropriate mentors and young people.
  • Screening and selection of mentors and mentees - outlines clear screening criteria and selection processes for assessing the suitability of mentors and young people. It supports LDATs to assess whether applicants meet program standards and have the attributes required to be a mentor to young people, guiding LDATs through the decision-making process.
  • Orientation and training of mentors and mentees – provides guidance on how to prepare and train participants in a Mentoring Program from the beginning of the program. It provides session plans, PowerPoint slides and supporting materials to enable LDATs to deliver evidence-based training to mentors to build the knowledge, skills and attitudes needed to effectively mentor a young person.
  • Matching mentors and mentees – outlines a process for the careful and appropriate matching of participants in the mentoring program. It supports LDATs to make matches according to compatibility and personal suitability, and to formalise the match before the mentor program meeting sessions commence.
  • Monitoring and supporting the match – details the ongoing requirement to provide regular supervision and support to mentors and mentees after they are matched. It supports LDATs to monitor individual sessions and overall progress and helps ensure that LDATs have adequate support in place for both mentors and mentees.
  • Program closure and evaluation – supports LDATs to close the mentoring relationship and evaluate the Mentoring Program. It provides advice for LDATs on measuring success, and a sample evaluation form is provided for adaptation and use in the local community.
  • Policies and procedures - provides policies and procedures to support LDATs to design, deliver and evaluate high-quality and effective Mentoring Programs.
  • Glossary - contains key terms and definitions relevant to the prevention of alcohol and other drug harms and building strong and resilient communities.

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