The Midlands Mentoring Partnership envisions a community where every child who needs or wants one has an ongoing, stable relationship with a trained and supported mentor in order to successfully transition to adulthood, and where all students achieve high school graduation and are prepared for post-secondary education and careers.
Among MMP’s aims are to elevate data collection and evaluation of community mentoring programs to new heights. In order to achieve this, member organizations agree that a comprehensive data collection, management, and reporting tool would be beneficial in documenting progress toward improving youth achievement.
The implementation of a comprehensive data tool is part of a larger initiative in the Omaha community to create a robust data infrastructure that emphasizes sharing information across programs to ensure coordinated services for children and youth.
This community-wide effort has been led by Building Bright Futures, The Sherwood Foundation, Avenue Scholars Foundation and the United Way.
Four MMP Partners implemented nFocus TraxSolutions in the spring of 2012. Another launch of nFocus TraxSolutions will occur in the spring of 2013. When surveyed in 2011, MMP members identified important functions that nFocus datatools would allow them to accomplish, at both the individual site/program level and at an aggregate level:
I. Individual site level (TraxSolutions: KidTrax, Case Management, Outcome Measurement Toolkit) managing daily operations (e.g., intake and attendance), demonstrating impact and facilitating outcomes reporting for funding accountability, measuring outcomes using logic models, strengthening donor relationships, increasing revenue opportunities while reducing costs and saving staff time, tracking volunteer and mentor information, and ensuring compliance with program guidelines based on the frequency of mentor/mentee contact.
II. Aggregate level (Community Center: Data Bridge, Community Server, and Community Compass) collecting common data across partners, and sharing information across different systems. Users of nFocus TraxSolutions are able to utilize the tool to submit monthly and semi-annual data to the Midlands Mentoring Partnership. MMP members agree to follow a set of data collection standards to ensure that all members are collecting data in the same manner.
Advanced research shows that quality mentoring practices are a determining factor in achieving positive youth outcomes. The Quality Mentoring Assessment Path, or QMAP®, developed by the Mentoring Partnership of Minnesota (MPM), is increasing the prevalence of quality practices in mentoring programs. The Midlands Mentoring Partnership was selected by MENTOR, The National Mentoring Partnership, to participate in a 3-year project to pilot the QMAP tool in Nebraska. Five other states are involved in the project, with 2 additional programs piloting QMAP, and three programs piloting another quality-based tool. To learn more about the QMAP tool, please click here.
The QMAP is a process that uses an online tool to help mentoring organizations extensively assess program management, operations and evaluation methods, based on the best practice guidelines outlined in the Elements of Effective Practice for MentoringTM (EEP). The goal of the QMAP is to better understand programs’ current strengths and help them identify areas for improvement in order to enhance future program practice and youth outcomes.
100% of QMAP pilot participants from Minnesota polled said that the QMAP was valuable for their program. Participating in the assessment gives your program access to an extensive collection of resources that correspond to specific best practices, as well as individualized training, technical assistance, and evaluation of your assessment.
Completion of the QMAP also gives your program the chance to:
Most importantly, the QMAP checks whether best practices are in place to ensure that youth and volunteers have the best possible mentoring experience.
Year 1 of the project began in March 2013.
Year 2 of the project began in January 2014.
Year 3 of the project began in January 2015.
If your organization is interested in participating, or would like more information on the project, please contact Whitney Mastin at firstname.lastname@example.org.