What are pair support notes?
Pair support notes are written by Program Managers to document the differentiated or individualized support they provide to mentors and mentees. These notes are recorded on the platform in a timely manner (ideally within a week after pair support is given) so that they are accurate and up-to-date. They are cumulative and not necessarily reflective of one moment in time.
Why is support documentation important?
There are several reasons why Program Managers are required to document pair support notes:
Continuity of Care: Documented pair support notes ensure that important information about pair interactions and history do not live solely in the mind of one employee, but that they can be accessed and acted upon by others.
- Example: when a Program Manager leaves his/her position and someone new begins to support the cohort
- Example: if a Program Manager is on vacation and his/her out-of-office contact gets a call from a mentor reporting something concerning about a mentee
Accountability: Documented pair support notes can be reviewed and discussed by Program Managers and their managers to ensure high-quality support is being given.
Service Improvement: Through analysis of pair support notes, Program Managers can discover patterns, such as periods of mentor (dis)engagement, over several years of the relationship. This will help Program Managers to plan interventions and supports accordingly.
Legal and Safety Compliance: iMentor flags any issues that could be a safety threat to the mentees in our program. Please speak more with your Partnership Manager about how you manage safety concerns within your program.
What types of pair support notes do Program Managers document and what do they look like?
iMentor has identified 4 main types of pair support notes that should be documented, though this is not an exhaustive list. Templates have been created for notes to maintain consistency and quality throughout the program. Whenever possible, pair support notes should follow the ‘DAP note’ format and be with the appropriate category tagged, which is commonly used in social work and case management practice (see below for details on category tagging and the structure of DAP notes). For information on how to add a pair support note on the iMentor Platform, read Adding notes and support notes to a user profile.
Types of Pair Support Notes
- Mentor Call Notes: Program Managers conduct calls with mentors at least three times per year as a way to formally check in with mentors on the progress of their match.
- Summary Notes: Summary notes are typically written at the end of each program year to synthesize the obstacles, successes and goal completion of each pair. Summary notes should be completed for every pair in a cohort which will be taken over by a new Program Manager the next year, both to help the incoming Program Manager and also to document institutional knowledge about the pairs.
- Safety Notes: Safety notes are used to document ALL major and minor safety concerns or infractions that come up throughout the program year, in accordance with our legal and safety obligations.
- Out-of-Program Notes: These notes are recorded and used to track requests from mentors for meetings outside of official iMentor events and to follow up on the meeting after it has occurred.
Appropriate Categorical Tagging of Support Notes
Generally speaking, the support PMs provide falls into one or more of 12 categories, selected whist logging the accompanying note, listed and defined below:
- Mentor Touch Point
- Mentor touch points are characterized by any one to one support provided to a mentor outside of program delivery (i.e., event facilitation) in service of developing/strengthening a pair's relationship or ensuing the pair is on track to meet programmatic goals.
- Mentee Touch Point
- Mentee touch points are characterized by any one to one support provided to a mentee outside of program delivery (i.e., class/event facilitation) in service of developing/strengthening a pair's relationship or ensuing the pair is on track to meet programmatic goals.
- Mentor-Mentee Relationship
- Notes carrying this tag reflect support provided in service of developing/strengthening a pair's relationship.
- Notes carrying this tag reflect support provided regarding a mentee/mentor's engagement with the curriculum (i.e., weekly online communication and monthly in-person meetings).
- Notes carrying this tag reflect support provided regarding a mentee's academic circumstances (i.e., on-track to graduate, sharing general information about mentee's academics, sharing study techniques for pairs to work on, etc.)
- Notes carrying this tag reflect support provided around mentee/mentor life circumstances (i.e., family updates/concerns, personal challenges, etc.)
- Notes carrying this tag reflect support provided to ensure the pair is on track to meet the programmatic goal of having a post secondary plan that fits the mentee's highest career aspiration (i.e., supporting the connecting career and education, supporting pairs in identifying/obtaining internships, etc.)
- Peer Relationships
- Notes carrying this tag reflect support provided to set pairs up for success in discussing peer relationships (i.e., bullying, navigating social aspect of life, etc.)
- Notes carrying this tag reflect support provided to ensure mentees and mentors are positioned for success in leveraging their relationship to navigate the financial aspect of the post-secondary process.
- Risky Behavior
- Notes carrying this tag reflect support provided regarding mentees engaging in "risky" behaviors such as drugs/alcohol (may also be a safety concern), truancy, etc.)
- Social Services
- Notes carrying this tag reflect support provided in which a public social service agency is involved (i.e., Administration for Children and Family Services, Housing and Urban Development, Department of Social Services, etc.)
- Notes carrying this tag reflect support provided that does not fall into one of the categories listed above. When using this tag, PMs must be diligent about documenting details of the support they provided in the body of the note.