Mentor Program

What is the Mentorship Program?

The Mentorship Program is open to all Illinois Certification Board, certified professionals. Its goal is to provide support for certified addiction professionals regarding a variety of issues, including career advancement, educational opportunities, stress and burnout. A directory of mentors is available on this website for consultation. Mentors have agreed to be available for informal coaching, education, and support. Mentors are volunteers who have more than 10 years experience and have agreed to comply with the ethics code for ICB mentors.

It is hoped that ICBs Mentoring Program will result in enhanced career development for addiction professionals in Illinois and ultimately increase worker retention and fulfillment.

*Summary, Strengthening Professional Identity: Challenges of the Addictions Treatment Workforce, Dec. 2006

What is a Mentor?

A mentor is a trusted and experienced professional who is also a teacher, guide, tutor, and coach.

Some characteristics of a mentor include:

  • Motivation to serve as a mentor
  • Willingness to invest personal time
  • Excellent communication skills
  • Good listener
  • Ability to provide constructive feedback
  • Possess an active network of professional contacts

What can I get from a Mentorship Program?

  • Enhancing your personal and professional development
  • Expanding your professional network
  • Learning how to increase your career and job satisfaction
  • Building your leadership capacity
  • Strengthening your commitment to addiction work
  • Increasing sense of fulfillment from working in the addiction profession
  • Career advice, including next steps educationally
  • Help with ethical questions

What are the characteristics of a Mentee?

  • Open to feedback and advice
  • Desire for advancement in addiction work
  • Desire to feel more committed and connected to the addiction profession

What does the Training of Leaders Mentorship Program hope to accomplish?

  • Help current or new addiction professionals to become qualified and contributing professionals able to advance the understanding and practice of the treatment of substance use disorders
  • Increase the number of individuals involved in substance use treatment.
  • Provide resources and guidelines to those involved in or entering the field of substance use treatment.
  • Provide rewarding experiences for seasoned professionals.
  • Inspire individuals to be committed to the advancement of the substance use treatment profession.

Mentorship Program Guidelines

The Mentor will:

  • Hold an ICB certification
  • Have ten or more years experience in treatment of substance use disorders
  • Abide by the ethics for mentors that are listed in this document

The Mentee will:

  • Identify a mentor with which to work and initiate contact
  • Time Commitment – will be flexible; mentoring can be accomplished in person, by phone, and/or email.

Length of Relationship – To be determined by mutual agreement. As this is an informal program, no participant should feel obligated to remain in a relationship which does not provide benefit to either party involved in the mentor/mentee relationship.

Suggested Mentoring Topics

  • Organizational dynamics
  • What are the rewards of working in the addiction field
  • Career opportunities
  • Understanding Federal, State, and Local guidelines for providing Substance Abuse Counseling Services (SUPR, Rule 2060)
  • How to obtain your ICB Certification
  • Professional Code of Ethics (Confidentiality, Dual Relationships)
  • Professional Enrichment (Training Opportunities)

Ethics of Mentoring Relationship

  • All mentoring will serve the mentees desire to develop professional skills.
  • While it is permissible for mentoring relationships to involve professionals from the same organization, it is sometimes more effective if both work in different settings.
  • Discussions and activities of the mentoring relationship should remain confidential.
  • Mentors should not attempt to handle situations or provide advice in areas for which they are not qualified; rather, they should refer their mentee to a professional with expertise in that specific situation or area of interest.
  • Mentors should not use the relationship to recruit employees for their respective organizations/agencies.
  • While mentoring may involve a discussion of organizational dynamics and personnel issues, the mentoring relationship does not include gossip or hearsay.
  • The mentoring relationship should not be used for development of relationships that result in a fee or contract for services.
  • Mentoring is not psychotherapy, or counseling, or supervision.
  • Mentors shall not engage in a romantic or sexual relationship with mentees.
  • Mentees are free to terminate the relationship at any time for any reason. Mentors must give advance notice in termination and help the mentee find another mentor.

If you want to have an ICB mentor

  1. Select a name from the Mentor Directory
  2. Initiate contact
  3. If you and your mentor are not a good fit, select another
  4. Check the ICB website periodically because this list will be on the website and will be updated as needed.

Mentorship Application