In 2015 Le Chéile Mentoring and Youth Justice Support Services commissioned this evaluation to assess the impact of Le Chéile’s mentoring services for young people who offend and their parents/carers, looking at a range of potential outcomes for both groups. Le Chéile also commissioned an assessment of the social return on investment.
A range of stakeholders took part in the evaluation, including young people and parents who were mentored, volunteer mentors, Probation and Le Chéile staff and other significant professionals.
The research methodology comprised both qualitative and quantitative methods, including face-to-face or phone interviews, focus groups, surveys and case file analysis.
The evaluation found that young people who were mentored by Le Chéile come from a variety of backgrounds. The outstanding common feature is of course that they have committed an offence and appeared before the courts. This marks Le Chéile mentees as different from mentees under other programmes in Ireland and internationally. The mentees share many features found among young offenders generally, for example, impulsivity, indifferent attitudes to offending, negative peer group influence, poor school attendance, poor supervision, and alcohol and drug use.