2022 Edition

Mentoring Services (CA-MS) 4: Mentor Screening and Selection

Prospective mentors are screened to determine their suitability for the role and to safeguard and promote the well-being of mentees.

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Individuals participating in Mentoring Services develop supportive, positive relationships that contribute to the achievement of personal, social, and educational growth.
Note: When paid program staff are used as mentors, the standards in CA-MS 4 should be incorporated into the organization’s hiring practices for the mentoring program (see CA-HR 2).
All elements or requirements outlined in the standard are evident in practice, as indicated by full implementation of the practices outlined in the Practice Standards.
Practices are basically sound but there is room for improvement, as noted in the ratings for the Practice Standards; e.g.,
  • Minor inconsistencies and not yet fully developed practices are noted; however, these do not significantly impact service quality; or
  • Procedures need strengthening; or
  • With few exceptions, procedures are understood by staff and are being used; or
  • For the most part, established timeframes are met; or
  • Proper documentation is the norm and any issues with individual staff members are being addressed through performance evaluations and training; or
  • Active client participation occurs to a considerable extent.
Practice requires significant improvement, as noted in the ratings for the Practice Standards. Service quality or program functioning may be compromised; e.g.,
  • Procedures and/or case record documentation need significant strengthening; or
  • Procedures are not well-understood or used appropriately; or
  • Timeframes are often missed; or
  • Several client records are missing important information; or
  • Client participation is inconsistent. 
Implementation of the standard is minimal or there is no evidence of implementation at all, as noted in the ratings for the Practice Standards; e.g.,
  • No written procedures, or procedures are clearly inadequate or not being used; or 
  • Documentation is routinely incomplete and/or missing.      
Self-Study EvidenceOn-Site EvidenceOn-Site Activities
  • Mentor recruitment plan or procedures
  • Screening and assessment procedures for prospective mentors
  • Outreach/informational materials for recruiting mentors
  • Materials describing expectations for mentoring (i.e. regarding frequency of meetings and duration of relationship)
  • Interviews may include:
    1. Program director
    2. Relevant personnel
    3. Mentors
  • Review personnel and case files for mentors


CA-MS 4.01

The organization establishes and implements a recruitment plan to identify and recruit the mentors needed to sustain the program.
NA The program only uses paid program staff as mentors.
Examples: Mentors may be identified and recruited through partnerships with other community organizations, institutions, and businesses, or through general community outreach such as advertisements, flyers, and word-of-mouth.

Fundamental Practice

CA-MS 4.02

Before serving clients in any capacity, prospective mentors undergo a screening process that includes: 
  1. a written application;
  2. an in-person interview that includes an assessment of the applicant’s personal qualities and motivation for becoming a mentor; and
  3. reference checks.


The screening process should be tailored to the needs and characteristics of target mentees. For example, the screening process should not disqualify prospective mentors if their backgrounds reflect the lived experiences that uniquely qualify them to the role, such as human trafficking victimization or substance use. For survivor mentoring programs utilizing mentors who are not survivors of human trafficking, additional consideration should be given to assessing mentor qualifications including, but not limited to: education, experience working with children, and commitment to maintaining the mentoring relationship regardless of the residential placement or location of the mentee.
Note: As addressed in CA-HR 2.03, the organization should also conduct criminal history record checks and child abuse registry checks as part of the screening process. If mentors have opportunities to transport mentees, the organization should also review their driving records, as referenced in CA-ASE 4.02.


CA-MS 4.03

To determine a prospective mentor’s suitability, the mentor screening process includes: 
  1. an assessment of whether the prospective mentor’s personal qualities will facilitate the development of a trust-based relationship centered on the mentee;
  2. an assessment of whether the prospective mentor has the time and availability needed to establish and maintain a strong mentoring relationship; and
  3. clear communication of time commitment expectations, including minimum frequency of visits and duration of service.
Examples: Although time commitment expectations may vary based on program type and model, many programs ask mentors to meet with mentees at least one hour per week, or for several hours once or twice a month, for at least a year.

Examples: Factors that may impact how many relationships an individual mentor should take on include: 
  1. whether the mentor is paid or volunteer:
  2. whether the mentor is full-time or part-time;
  3. the number of hours committed by the mentor;
  4. the program’s model and objectives; and 
  5. the service population in question.