At Friends of the Children, we believe in the power of long-term, professional mentorship to break the cycle of poverty and empower families facing the greatest obstacles. For over 30 years, we have matched paid, professional mentors - called Friends - with children to impact generational change by empowering youth and caregivers for 12+ years, no matter what. Starting in kindergarten our mentors walk alongside youth through high school graduation to help families find solutions and connect them to concrete support in times of need.

Our mentoring program is designed to uplift youth and families to create lasting change.

Here is how we do it:

  • Professional Mentoring: We've revolutionized the youth mentoring field with the first and only long-term professional mentoring program in the country. Our mentors are trained professionals who provide dedicated, one-on-one support to youth, empowering them to set and achieve their goals.
  • Two-Generation Approach: We understand that supporting youth also means supporting their caregivers. Our two-generation approach empowers caregivers to meet their own goals and reach their full potential. We support caregivers to understand their child's needs and strengths, equipping them with social and emotional learning skills and promoting self-advocacy within complex systems.
  • Impactful Results: Caregivers have reported stronger family relationships, improved understanding of how to support their child’s success, and connections to vital resources that enrich and stabilize their families.

Supporting Healthy Families

Sign up for our email list to stay connected and learn how you can empower families with big dreams who also face obstacles like foster care, poverty, housing insecurity, and more. Together, we can support youth, strengthen families, and create a brighter future for generations to come.

* indicates required

Our Impact:

  • Stronger Family Relationships: 88% of caregivers reported stronger family relationships.
  • Improved School Success: 91% of caregivers reported improved understanding of how to support their child's school success.
  • Systems Navigation: 77% of caregivers reported support in systems navigation and advocacy.
  • Connections to Resources: 92% of caregivers reported connections to resources that enrich and stabilize their family.

Every child deserves to feel loved and supported. Our vision is that one day, every child who needs a Friend has one.