Systematic review

Impact of mentoring and befriending practice and interventions for children & young people

Systematic review of the impact of mentoring and befriending practice and interventions for children & young people

Summary

This protocol summarises plans for a systematic review to explore and understand the different types of befriending and mentoring models that exist for children and young people up to the age of 25, who are care experienced, considered at risk of being placed in care, or at risk of poor developmental outcomes.

Who, what, why and how?

Mentoring and befriending interventions are widely used across the UK, and international evidence has found these programmes to be effective across a range of outcomes and relatively diverse programme samples. However, there are wide variations in UK practice on how befriending and mentoring are conceptualised and delivered, and programmes vary significantly in delivery, intended outcomes and social benefits. Despite support for mentoring and befriending approaches in UK policy, there remains a need to systematically synthesise the evidence base.

Foundations has commissioned Liverpool John Moores University to carry out a systematic review focused on mentoring and befriending models which exist for children and young people up to 25 years old, who are care experienced, considered at risk of being placed in care, or at risk of poor developmental outcomes. The review will consider how effective mentoring and befriending interventions are for different groups, identify practice and intervention components that lead to successful mentoring/befriending relationships, and identify barriers and facilitators to implementation.

The review will inform the development of a Practice Guide that will present the best-known evidence on mentoring and befriending interventions for children and young people.

Research Questions

  • RQ1: How effective are mentoring and befriending interventions on promoting good outcomes for “at risk” children and young people and/or those with care-experience?
  • RQ2: What are the different types of mentoring or befriending interventions/models, how are they defined, and which models are more or less effective for different populations of children and young people?
  • RQ3: What practice elements and intervention components are associated with successful befriending and mentoring relationships for children and young people?
  • RQ4: What are the enablers and barriers to successful implementation of effective mentoring and befriending interventions for children and young people?
  • RQ5: What are the views of children and young people (and parents/carers) about the acceptability and usefulness of different mentoring and befriending interventions?

Evaluation partners

Due Date

This project is due to be completed by November 2024.
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Systematic review protocol: impact of mentoring and befriending practice and interventions for children & young people

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