Beginning in 2001, the Iowa Mentoring Partnership (IMP) became a program of the Office of Drug Control Policy. From 2003-2004, the IMP was housed within the Iowa Department of Public Health and in 2004, the organization became an independent 501(c)(3) program that was housed within Iowa Health Systems. Finally, in November of 2005, the IMP became (and remains) a state government program and division of the Iowa Commission on Volunteer Service (ICVS).
Mission: As a division of the Iowa Commission on Volunteer Service, the Iowa Mentoring Partnership supports their mission to "Improve lives, strengthen communities and foster civic engagement through service and volunteering" by supporting quality mentoring programs.
The Need: More than 58,000 young Iowans are in need of a mentor
Vision: A mentor for every child in Iowa who needs one
Role of a State Mentoring Partnership:
The Iowa Mentoring Partnership exists to provide assistance on a statewide basis to mentoring programs, providers, and communities interested in certification. We specifically strive to enhance the quality of mentoring relationships in Iowa though:
1. Mentor Program Certification
As the certifying body for mentoring programs in our state, the Iowa Mentoring Partnership strives to expand the network of high-quality mentoring programs that help build brighter futures for children and youth. Specifically, certification helps ensure that local mentoring programs are upholding the Elements of Effective Practice that have been established by the National Mentoring Partnership. To learn more, please visit the "Certification and Elements of Effective Practice" portion of our website.
2. Statewide Volunteer Recruitment, Referral and Recognition
- Comprehensive, statewide database of certified mentoring programs in Iowa (located on our "Become a Mentor" webpage) for potential mentors to search for local mentoring opportunities
- "Request to Become a Mentor" form (also located on our "Become a Mentor" webpage) for potential mentors. Upon completion, the form is emailed to staff members who then refer the potential mentor directly to a certified mentoring program in his or her community
- Free mentor recognition certificates from the Office of Governor Culver
- Excellence in Mentoring Award - A prestigious, state-level award that celebrates National Mentoring Month by honoring a few of the most outstanding mentors in Iowa at the state capitol
3. Advocacy and Resource Development
- Support of mentoring grants (available to certified mentoring programs) through the Iowa Department of Public Health
- Creation and distribution of free mentoring materials and resources for local use
- Coordination of fall and spring mentoring tracks or training events (certified mentoring programs receive free or discounted registrations to Iowa Mentoring Partnership-sponsored trainings)
- Foster increased opportunities for mentoring program coordinators to communicate and share best practices through networking events, social media websites (join the Iowa Mentoring Partnership's Facebook page!) and regional meetings
- Increase statewide awareness of the positive benefits of mentoring children and youth at the legislative level through the coordination of Executive Department press releases and proclamations and the annual Mentoring Day on the Hill at the state capitol
- Collect and track statewide mentoring data (through quarterly mentoring reports completed by certified mentoring programs) that helps "make the case" for mentoring in Iowa and shape statewide marketing campaigns for recruiting mentors
- Serve as the lead non profit organization for the state of Iowa for National Mentoring Month by leading a "Saturate the State" campaign based upon increasing mentoring awareness at the statewide level
The Iowa Mentoring Partnership is primarily led by a staff member of the Iowa Commission on Volunteer Service and an AmeriCorps*VISTA member. The members of our provider board also play a pivotal leadership role within the organization. Elected board members commit to a two- to three-year term in which they create and accomplish specific statewide mentoring goals. Each member also provides a voice for the concerns and ideas of certified programs in his or her region.
Iowa Commission on Volunteer Service (ICVS)
Mentoring has become closely connected to the ICVS' mission of increasing volunteerism in Iowa and is particularly integral to goal #2 of the ICVS State Service Plan: Increasing the number of volunteers serving with youth. Mentoring has also become a priority area for the ICVS' federal funding agency, the Corporation for National and Community Service.
Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH):
Funding opportunities currently provide the most concrete opportunity for collaboration between the IDPH and the Iowa Mentoring Partnership. Mentoring programs that which to pursue grants offered by the IDPH must first become a certified mentoring program with the partnership. Also, he IDPH formally recognized the preventative nature of high-quality mentoring programs by featuring a mentoring track at their recent Prevention Symposium.
The Iowa Mentoring Partnership is committed to mobilizing Iowans to fulfill the first of the Five Promises (Caring Adults) by supporting high-quality mentoring programs that bring positive role models and mentors into the lives of our youngest Iowans in need. By building upon the collective power of communities to make a positive impact in every child's life, America's Promise is working to ensure that each of the Five Promises for children and youth are met. The Five Promises include: 1) Caring Adults; 2) Safe Places; 3) Healthy Start; 4) Marketable Skills; and 5) Opportunities to Serve.