Strong, capable states are critical for reducing flood losses and protecting the natural functions of floodplains. Our nation's approach to floodplain management relies on participation at each level of government, and states are particularly situated to provide the leadership to establish competent, long-lasting floodplain management programs.

Training, sharing experiences, promoting best practices and building relationships are integral to the mission and success of ASFPM, which is uniquely positioned to assist with the development of future floodplain management leaders and effective state floodplain management programs. Many of the nation’s most experienced and successful floodplain managers are dedicated ASFPM members who are willing to commit their time to mentoring others in the profession.

Mentoring is a professional relationship in which an experienced mentor assists a mentee in developing specific skills and knowledge that will enhance the mentee’s professional and personal growth.

ASFPM Mentoring Program

The program's primary purpose is to connect individual learning and growth with state capability for effective floodplain management. Mentoring is not exactly training, nor is it coaching.

ASFPM mentors transfer knowledge, provide insight, and share experiences to develop effective state floodplain management programs and capable floodplain management professionals. Mentors provide the link between knowledge and skills and the "day-to-day job" duties. Whether new to the profession or seeking to expand knowledge and skills, value will be provided through the mentoring exchanges.

Program Objectives

  1. Build floodplain management knowledge, skill and capability: The mentoring program helps state floodplain managers assess in which areas they can improve their effectiveness and expedites learning for new professionals.
  2. Provide trusted guidance and feedback: Mentoring adds value to training and education through relationships with tenured practitioners who share insight and “on-the-job” experience.
  3. Create a peer network and communication forum: Mentoring activities provide expanded opportunities to meet other floodplain management professionals, and a variety of ways to discuss and vet valid, relevant and consistent information.
  4. Provide situational guidance: State floodplain managers (new and experienced) often find themselves in “crisis management” mode when flood disasters, new technologies or political priorities demand immediate attention. The mentoring program provides quick problem-solving support and assistance for handling job-related concerns.
  5. Sustain professional development: The mentoring program helps establish relationships with state floodplain managers, establishes benchmarks for effective floodplain management, provides training and supports learning.

Why Participate?

ASFPM has prioritized state floodplain managers, state NFIP coordinators, and state flood mapping coordinators and their staff as the target audience for initial mentoring activities. Applicants should review the Eligibility Policy.

We learn and grow through relationships. Through the ASFPM Mentoring Program, state floodplain managers have the opportunity to work with dedicated and enthusiastic floodplain management professionals. The program provides a role for you, whether you are just entering the profession, looking to expand your knowledge/skills or a seasoned practitioner.

Why become a mentor?

As a mentor, you can contribute to the profession by sharing your experiences and wisdom. You will also have the opportunity to enhance your personal skills in listening, coaching, reflecting and planning. Mentors are supported with continuing education in mentoring and can expand their professional network and understanding of state floodplain management challenges through mentoring partnerships. Mentors are a key partner in ASFPM's mission and vision.

Why become a mentee?

As a mentee, you will be exposed to tenured floodplain managers who have program experience and knowledge of best practices. You will gain self-confidence through training, encouragement, guidance and counsel. Mentees will gain critical knowledge for effective floodplain management and expand their professional network. Mentees will engage in the ASFPM culture, mission and vision.

Mentoring Approaches

  • One-on-One: This is the traditional form of mentoring in which mentors provide guidance to all types of mentees: from brand new state staff who don’t know what they don’t know to practitioners with years of experience who are hoping to learn about additional topics or issues (due to expanding job duties, refocusing of program goals, seeking better floodplain management practices, etc.). After a one-on-one mentoring request is submitted, the program manager will approach the mentee’s preferred mentor (or find a mentor qualified in the topic or issue) and form a mentoring partnership.
  • Group Mentoring: This method of request is where multiple mentees are trained on a particular topic or issue with which they need help. One or more mentors may participate in a group mentoring session. This type is particularly useful for bringing multiple staff members up to speed on a topic or issue. ASFPM may also initiate group mentoring opportunities to train individuals at workshops and conferences, or virtually through webinars and web-based training.
  • Situational Mentoring: This is for mentees who are experiencing a challenging situation that requires prompt help. Situational mentoring is reserved for times when a mentee needs immediate guidance regarding a current problem or issue. This type of request could lead to a face-to-face or virtual interaction in which the goal is for the mentee to learn how to better deal with these types of issues in the future.
  • Ask a Mentor: This is a self-serve mentoring interaction initiated on the ASFPM Mentoring Program website by the mentee that is directed to a specific mentor. It is less complex than the other types of mentoring since the answer may be provided in a simple exchange by email. For example, it could involve someone needing perspective on a particular issue, asking how to deal with a specific task, or seeking clarification of a concept. Ask a Mentor doesn’t require the “boots on the ground” support of the other mentoring types and is meant to be a short-term interaction.

    For one-on-one, group and situational mentoring, mentees can indicate if they do not have a preferred mentor and allow the program manager to assign the best mentor available. Participants using these mentoring approaches follow the Mentoring Partnership framework described in the Mentoring Handbook. Partners must consult the program manager and the Resource & Reimbursement Request Policy if monetary resources are requested.

    Further information about the Mentoring Approaches is available in the Mentoring Handbook.

Mentoring Process

Applicants must first register as a mentee or mentor. The program manager may reach out to learn more about mentees' mentoring needs or mentors' areas of expertise. The graphic and procedure outlined here gives an overview of how a mentoring partnership is executed for one-on-one, group and situational mentoring. The Ask a Mentor functionality is built into the Mentor Finder.

Full details of the ASFPM Mentoring Program framework are provided in the Mentoring Handbook.

  1. Mentor profiles are listed in the Mentor Finder.
  2. Mentee submits a mentoring request from their 'My Profile' page.
  3. Program manager contacts and assigns a mentor.
  4. Program manager introduces partners and initiates a partnership workspace.
  5. Mentee creates SMART Goals with help of mentor.
  6. Partners complete the mentoring agreement.
  7. Mentee creates an action plan; the mentor reviews it and the partners create task lists.
  8. Partners track completed tasks in the activity/actions log and submit a partnership log monthly.
  9. Partners conclude their mentoring partnership.
  10. Partners complete a partnership evaluation.

For further guidance, please contact the program manager.