Alberta College of Social Workers

Mentor Gateway




Mentoring plays a key role in the development of social workers and social work practice. Mentoring is a formalized non-evaluative activity which can provide support and perspective in a number of aspects of a social worker's career.

As a mentor, you will help a mentee develop confidence in her or his work and facilitate career growth.

As a mentor you can expect to:

  • Expand your network.
  • Share your experience and wisdom. Your real-world experience matters.
  • Find opportunities to grow when mentees challenge your assumptions, test your knowledge, ask intriguing questions.
  • Gain insight into new perspectives and ideas.

The role of the mentor is to:

  • Focus on the goals of the mentee.
  • Share your professional knowledge and experience.
  • Reduce professional isolation.
  • Provide a confidential, non-evaluative and trusting enciroment
  • Nurture personal development.
Mentoring enables individuals to reach their full potential and is foundational for success, particularly in today's work environment. For registered members, the desire to further their knowledge and develop their practice is best realized through mentoring.
Advantages of mentoring to the mentee include:
  • Practice specialization opportunities (the social work profession is very broad and can prove to be challenging for a developing social worker to find their niche)
  • Insight on career transitions (which social career might the mentee be best suited to?") 
  • Identification and enhancement of professional strengths (a supported reflection on the unique combinations of assets that the social worker brings to the profession and how to use these strengths to create and maintain a fulfilling social work career)

To join the Mentor Roster, you must:

  • Have a diploma or degree and be a practicing Registered Social Worker
  • Have two to five years' experience as a practicing social worker
  • Be a member in good standing
  • Agree to follow and model CASW Code of Ethics and ACSW Standards of Practice



ACSW's Mentor Program is a formal network of experienced registered social workers willing to share their expertise and wisdom. As an ACSW Mentor, you can offer your mentoring on a short-term or long-term basis. Short-term mentoring is defined as three to fice contacts over a two-to-three-month period. Long-term mentoring requires a committee of up to one year. 

I am prepared to:
  • Be available, approachable and willing to make mentorship a priority
  • Employ a strengths-based collaborative approach;
  • Collaboratively establish, maintain and promote professional boundaries;
  • Create a culture of belonging and safety;
  • Foster positive personal and professional relationships; and
  • Be a role model of ethical practice, self-care, and commitment.
I have:
  • Completed the CASW Code of Ethics Refresher. 
 

Your mentor profile allows you to introduce yourself, discuss your credentials, licenses, academic background and social work profession area(s) of focus. You may create your profile by completing the form below or you can create a narrative profile that tells your story in your own voice. If you choose to use the narrative profile, touch on the categories identified. 

Mentor Profile Form

Mentor Gateway

Toolkit

Mentors share many things they have learned over the years that provide a basis for the successful thinking acting and decision making. The WISE model gives mentors a framework and examples of what and how to share when it is required.

  Examples...
Wisdom Sharing anything that you have gained over time that provides insight into a better way to handle things:

i.e. "Treat people with dignity and fairness and you will get more out of them than treating them with harshness and authority"

"Flexible people never get bent out of shape"

"What happens is not as important as how you react to what happens"

"Pick your battles carefully; you only have so much energy to spend"
Information Sharing pertinent information and historical data that you know:

i.e. Organizational processes, policies, procedures and about the industry regulations etc...
Situations Describing situations that have occurred in the past that the worker needs to be aware of when making decisions or conducting themselves on the work site: 

i.e. The client has encountered these issues over the past year (describe what has happened). The social worker has dealt with this type of situation in the past and here is how he leads through problems.

One of the key features of ACSW's mentoring program is its flexibility. The mentor and mentee decide on how the relationship will work. ACSW, however, does have some minimal expectations of mentors and mentees including:

What is expected of a mentor?

  • Spend at least two hours per month building the mentoring relationship.
  • Have a face-to-face exchange at least once every six months.
  • Set expectations with the mentee for how and when you will contact each other.
  • Help your mentee with identifying and setting goals. Track progress and make changes as needed.
  • Approach the mentoring relationship with an open mind, professionalism, and respect.
  • Support the mentee's professional behavior. define professional behavior if needed.
  • Keep the content of discussions within the mentoring relationship confidential. All of your exchanges with your mentee - both personal and professional - are subject to the expectations of the professional confidentiality.
  • Communicate problems with the mentoring relationship to ACSW program staff.

The following are expectations of the mentee:

  • Spend at least 2 hours per month building the mentoring relationship.
  • Make the first contact with the selected mentor and respond to all communications
  • Set specific goals for the mentoring relationship with the mentor.
  • Commit to agreed-upon expectations and goals set with the mentor. 
  • Be appropriate in your requests of your mentor; in particular, do NOT ask for a job.
  • Approach the mentoring relationship with an open mind, professionalism, and respect
  • Be receptive to suggestions and feedback.
  • Share your career plans with the mentor, recount your initiatives for professional development, ask for advice, reflect on the mentor's observation and inform the mentor about the results of various efforts. 
  • Keep the content of discussions within the mentoring relationship confidential. All your exchanges with your mentor - both personal and professional - are subject to the expectations of professional confidentiality.
  • Refrain from asking mentors for evaluative advice; rather, take advantage of the mentor's suggestions about resources for the feedback and objective evaluation.
  • Communicate problems with the mentoring relationship to ACSW program staff. 


Please Note: Participation in ACSW's Mentor Roster is voluntary and the roster is intended to be a resource for registered Social Workers willing to provide mentorship.