Protect privacy and confidentiality

Serving as a confidante to young people can involve difficult decisions about what information can or should be kept confidential and what needs to be disclosed. Despite such complications, volunteers are rarely trained in the nuances of managing sensitive information, including situations in which confidence should be violated. Professional helpers are trained to disclose the limits of confidentiality, and mentors should follow suit.

  • Inform mentees of your obligation to break confidence should the protégé disclose intentions to be harmful to themselves or others. Similarly, you should report to the mentoring program any suspicions they have that their protégé is subject to abuse or neglect.