In 2018, one in five U.S. children lived in poverty. Extreme obstacles—generational school failure, parental substance use, incarceration, violence in the home and community, and teen pregnancy—create cycles where children fail in education, behavioral health, and foster care systems, and frequently land in the justice system. Friends of the Children provides these children with intensive, individualized guidance from full-time, salaried professional mentors—Friends—for 12.5 years, from kindergarten through high school graduation.
Friends of the Children (FOTC) is the solution to breaking the cycle of poverty and intergenerational repetition of low educational attainment, teen parenting, and criminality. We empower youth to move beyond their circumstances and become healthy, productive citizens.
Additional support would provide the means for FOTC to establish 25 new chapters in highest-need communities. One-to-one national and local matching funds would support long-term sustainability. Every $1 invested in FOTC returns $7 to the community. The expansion ROI is $700 million.
Friends of the Childrenwebsite: http://www.friendsofthechildren.org
Charity, fund, non-governmental organization, religious institution, school, or other entity
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As the COVID-19 pandemic turned the world upside down, Friends of the Children deepened our commitment to fulfill our vision that one day, every child who needs a Friend will have one. Over the past year, our network has scaled up to serving 22 communities from 16, launching new chapters in Lane County, OR; Salt Lake City, UT; Fargo, ND-Moorhead, MN; Detroit, MI; Southwest Washington state; and Tacoma, WA. Additional recent milestones include receiving $2.5 million from the National Institutes of Health to fund the final phase of our randomized controlled study—the only long-term RCT of a mentoring program in the past 50 years—and the completion of a four-year, network-wide implementation and outcome study on our two-generation (2Gen) approach. Both further strengthen our base of evidence demonstrating the tremendous impact our model has in the lives of the children and families we serve.