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By Roseanne Biase, MSW
QUALITY MENTORING: EFFECTIVE,
EVIDENCE BASED INTERVENTION
THE AGENDA
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Introduction
Learning objectives
 Defining at-risk youth
 Empirical evidence supporting the strengths based
approach
 Customizing appropriate intervention for youth
 Developing altruism in youth – empirical evidence
 Summary
INTRODUCTION
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Roseanne Biase, MSW
Obtained MSW at Virginia Commonwealth University
Certified in Gender Violence Intervention at VCU
Director of 360° Therapeutic Mentor/Life Skills Coach Program
Married 25 yrs. & have 3 children: one just graduated from GMU, one
is at ODU, and the other is at ECU
AT RISK YOUTH
 Defining
factors of the population at
various levels – Interactive exercise
 Individual/student
 Family
 School
 Community
DEFINING FACTORS
 Individual/
Student
level
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Poor school/general attitude
Low ability level
Attendance/Truancy
Behavior/discipline problems
Pregnancy
Drug abuse
Poor peer relationships
Nonparticipation
Friends have dropped out
Illness/disability
Low self-esteem/self-efficacy
DEFINING FACTORS
 Family
Level
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Low socioeconomic status
Dysfunctional home life
No parent involvement
Low parental expectations
Non-English speaking home
Ineffective parenting/abuse
High mobility
DEFINING FACTORS
 School
level
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Conflict between home/school
culture
Ineffective discipline system
Lack of adequate counseling
Negative school climate
Lack of relevant curriculum
Passive instructional strategies
Incorrect use of technology
Disregard of student learning styles
Retentions/suspensions
Low expectations
Lack of language instruction
DEFINING FACTORS
 Community
Level
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Lack of community support
services
Lack of community support
for schools
High incidences of criminal
activities
Lack of school/community
linkages

(Wells, 1990)
STRENGTHS AT DIFFERENT LEVELS
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Everybody – every:
individual
Family
Group
Community
 – has strengths.
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Find your clients
strengths and you find
STRENGTHS BASED PERSPECTIVE
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Using Strengths Perspective:
Practicing from a strengths perspective means that everything you do as a
helper will be based on facilitating the discovery and embellishment,
exploration, and use of clients’ strengths and resources in the service of
helping them achieve their goals and realize their dreams.
-Dennis Saleebey
STRENGTHS BASED PERSPECTIVE
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You cannot empower any youth by berating
shortcomings or failures. Empowerment comes
from three things:
1) Valuing oneself
 2) Having achievable goals
 3) Creating a plan to reach these goals that has
the potential to be successful
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(http://homepages.wmich.edu/~weinreic/SWRK350/TheoryLearningObject/strengths)
STRENGTHS BASED PERSPECTIVE
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The strengths model has been used in helping:
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Adults with severe and persistent mental illness,
People struggling with alcohol and drug abuse,
Seriously emotionally disturbed children and their families,
Older citizens, children and adults in the justice system,
Neighborhoods and communities,
It has also been used as a framework for policy analysis.

(University of Kansas, School of Social Welfare)
STRENGTHS BASED PERSPECTIVE
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Empirical research on
Strengths Based Case
Management (SBCM), both
quantitative and qualitative,
done by the Center for
Interventions, Treatment,
and Addictions Research
(CITAR) found:
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Improved retention in
aftercare services
Improved employment
functioning
Reduction in drug use
Reduction in criminal
justice involvement
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(Rapp, Siegal, Li, & Saha,
1998; Siegal et al., 1996;
Siegal, Li, & Rapp, 2002).
STRENGTHS BASED PERSPECTIVE
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1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
According to Saint-Jacques, et al. (2009) the strengths-based
approach is based on six key principles:
Every individual, family, group and community has strengths, and the focus
is on these strengths rather than pathology
The community is a rich source of resources
Interventions are based on youth’s self-determination
Collaboration is central with the mentee – mentor relationship as primary
and essential
Outreach is employed as a preferred mode of intervention
All people have the inherent capacity to learn, grow and change.
STRENGTHS BASED PERSPECTIVE
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Let’s review all 6 principles
Interactive
1.
How do we get past the defining factors of these youth?
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2.
Name strengths in each domain
How is the community rich in resources?
1.
Practice using an eco-map so mentee can see his/her resources
1.
Draw an example of an eco-map
STRENGTHS BASED PERSPECTIVE
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Continue reviewing all 6 principles
Interactive
3. How do we build youth’s self-determination?
1. The Pacer Center for Children describes it best: “Self-determination
involves many attitudes and abilities including: self-awareness,
assertiveness, creativity, pride, problem solving and self-advocacy skills.
To take charge of your own life, you must be able to set goals, evaluate
options, make choices and then work to achieve your goals”.
(http://www.pacer.org/tatra/resources/self.asp)
4. How do you collaborate with your mentee? See OARS
INTERVENTION
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Remember to use your OARS:
Open ended question
 Affirm
 Reflective listening
 Summarize
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(www.amhd.org)
INTERVENTION
Continue reviewing all 6 principles
5. Are you participating in outreach projects with
your youth?
Interactive
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What kind of meaningful activities have you been
involved in with your mentee that has made a
difference in the youth’s life?
INTERVENTION
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Promote social justice through action/social interactions
Cognitive reconstruction: changing negative thoughts about others to doing positive,
meaningful activities for others. Here are some ideas:
 Youth are more open to helping the vulnerable (youth, elderly, homeless,
sometimes the sick)
 Tutor program – tutoring in elementary schools or the disabled
 Elderly – nursing homes
 Meals on wheels
 Art to donate for a cause, have the youth start a project
 Starting school projects  prom (car reenactment)
 MTV project (counseling)
 dating violence month
 They experience a reward when they know they have made a difference
INTERVENTION
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Utilizing mentees strengths
Strengths are properly defined not simply as activities at which
people excel, but also as activities that strengthen people and
energize them; activities for which they have a strong appetite.
 -Marcus Buckingham
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Searching and exploring is part of the journey to
finding what gives your mentee their passion.
INTERVENTION
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Interactive
What energizes your youth?
Look into their gifts and talents
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Maybe the youth is caring – cares for younger siblings
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What if your youth was musically inclined
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Volunteer at a hospital or nursing home
Have them take their instrument and volunteer to sing at a
pre-school, hospital, at a coffee shop for a fundraiser
If they are artistic – photography, painting, graphic design
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The opportunities are endless – see photo below and let’s discuss ideas
INTERVENTION
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Continue to review all 6
principles
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6. Everyone has the
capacity to learn grow
and change.
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This is where you can
help develop altruistic
qualities in your mentee.
Empirical evidence
supports
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Altruism develops in
people, as opposed to
being an inherited trait.
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(Krebs & Van Hesteren,
1994)
DEVELOPING GOODNESS IN YOUTH
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Human altruism consists of the following altruistic
behaviors
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Helping in times of danger
Sharing food
Helping the sick, the wounded or the very old and young
Sharing implements
Sharing knowledge
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(Trivers,1971 ‘Harvard University’)
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http://www.emusic.com/listen/#/album/binaural-beat-brainwavesubliminal-systems/developing-altruism/13432399/
DEVELOPING GOODNESS IN YOUTH
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It’s our responsibility to help the process of starting to
develop the goodness in youth!
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There is potential in every human
being!
DEVELOPING GOODNESS IN YOUTH
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Conclusion
Strengths should be assessed at various levels
 Individual, Family, Group, and Community
Intervention to develop goodness in youth is a journey to explore a variety of
activities in their community
 Altruistic cognitive development starts by exploring various ideas,
talents, and gifts
 The youth is learning social justice through positive social interactions
Altruistic behaviors can be developed and is not genetic
At-risk youth live in a world of complications but have a wealth of potential!!!
ENDING THOUGHT
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Everything that is done in the world is done by
hope.
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Martin Luther King, Jr.
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