Friends of the Children – Houston Expansion
The national nonprofit Friends of the Children is partnering with local leaders to explore opportunities to serve more youth and families in Texas. With 26 sites across the country, Friends of the Children has been working with youth and families in Austin since 2017 and has been invited to come to Houston. Our vision is that one day, every child in Houston who is at highest risk of the long-term effects of childhood adversity, like foster care, will have a Friend – a long term, salaried professional mentor who stays with them from pre-school through high school graduation, 12+ years – no matter what.
Children and families in Houston have unique talents, varied interests and big dreams. Some, however, face more obstacles than others. Across Harris County, over 30% of children live in low-income households and more than 7,400 are victims of abuse or neglect. In 2021, over 5,900 Houston-area children experienced foster care and these youth often encounter additional challenges in school and in life. In Harris County alone, two out of every five children struggle with mental health and substance use disorders.
PROFESSIONAL MENTORING THAT SUPPORTS YOUTH
For nearly 30 years, the Friends of the Children professional mentoring model has been proven to get results for youth who have experienced complex trauma, like foster care:
- 92% of youth go on to enroll in post-secondary education, serve our country or enter the workforce.
- 83% of youth with a Friend graduate high school, while only 55% without a Friend graduate high school.
- 93% of youth with a Friend avoid the juvenile justice system, compared to 74% avoiding juvenile justice without a Friend.
- 98% of youth with a Friend avoid early parenting, while only 74% without a Friend avoid early parenting.
HELP MAKE CHANGE IN HOUSTON
Challenges faced by a community require local solutions and Friends–Houston will be its own independent 501c3 with local leadership from board to staff to support the children and families in Houston who need it most. Friends of the Children is excited to support local champions to bring our proven model to the region in early 2023.
Help us launch Friends of the Children - Houston by joining our local champions committee where you can connect us to community leaders and potential partners or promote awareness of Friends of the Children and its impact. You can also invest in the Houston chapter to ensure its long-term financial sustainability.
For more information, please contact Nancy Pollard, Executive Director of Friends of the Children – Austin at firstname.lastname@example.org, or Erinn Kelley-Siel, National Chief Officer of Expansion and Policy at email@example.com.