The Healthy Start Mentoring Program provides an opportunity for experienced Healthy Start Project Directors with proven expertise to mentor another Healthy Start program. The Healthy Start TA & Support Center (TASC) is working in partnership with the National Healthy Start Association (NHSA) to coordinate the mentoring program.
In October 2020, the first Healthy Start mentoring cohort of this funding cycle was launched. We are excited to announce the launch of the 2nd Cohort of the Healthy Start Mentoring Program! The deadline to apply to become a Mentor or Mentee is Friday, July 30, 2021.
If you are interested in being a Mentee, please contact your Project Officer and inform them of your interest. If you are interested in becoming a Mentor, please complete the Healthy Start Mentoring Program Mentor Application
Project Directors that serve as a Mentor will receive stipends of $2,000 that will be offered directly to their Healthy Start grantee award agency. These stipends are intended to be in recognition of the time and effort the Mentor is dedicating to this program, which is in addition to scope of services listed in the FOA.
If you were not able to attend the webinar Introduction to the Healthy Start Mentoring Program offered last year, please view the recording to gain a better understanding of the program and expectations required of both Mentors and Mentees.
About the Healthy Start Mentoring Program
Mentoring is a relationship between an entity that has successfully experienced or by virtue of experience has developed a set of skills, knowledge, or expertise that can be shared with a mentee. Early examination of the first Healthy Start programs illustrated that the most successful Healthy Start programs had a common characteristic of strong, continuous leadership. Additional studies found that new employees paired with a mentor are twice as likely to remain in the workforce than those who do not receive the support of a mentor. Mentoring, if successful, is about the relationship between the mentor and the mentee and the knowledge exchange, thus increasing program expertise.
The purpose of the program is to increase Mentee’s (1) understanding of expectations for Healthy Start grantees, (2) ability to establish links within the Healthy Start community, and (3) confidence to seek and obtain needed support and resources from Healthy Start peers. The goal of the Healthy Start Peer Mentor Program is to identify and optimize the strengths, experiences, skills, and competencies of experienced Healthy Start programs (Mentors) to engage their less experienced Healthy Start programs (Mentees) in a meaningful learning exchange that will result in increased competencies for the Mentee. There are new Healthy Start programs and programs that have experienced turnover in grantee leadership which could benefit from having an experienced Healthy Start program as a Mentor.
To maximize compatibility, factors to be considered in the Mentor/Mentee match include:
- Grantee demographics such as urban, rural, etc.
- Organizational type, such as health department Federally Qualified Community Health Center or 501c3.
- Population(s) served.
Healthy Start programs have individuals with a range of leadership skills, relevant Healthy Start experience/ expertise, the capacity to provide practical support, and a strong base of knowledge around the core Healthy Start services and various program areas. Aside from individual expertise, several Healthy Start grantees have also developed expertise in specific program areas such as data collection and evaluation, Community Action Networks, outreach and recruitment, and father engagement. Mentoring is an opportunity for an experienced Healthy Start program with proven expertise to mentor another Healthy Start program, regardless of Project Director tenure. This mentoring helps all Healthy Start programs to rise to a level of excellence.