Right now, there are 72,429 children ages 4 to 6 in foster care. This is the age at which we select and invite children to enroll in our program. We pair each child in foster care with a paid, professional mentor called a Friend, for 12+ years, no matter what. We have a goal of expanding to 25 cities by 2025, which is getting us closer to every child in foster care having a Friend.
There are more than 437,000 children in foster care nationwide. As most people are staying with loved ones, a lot of children in foster care are living with non-relatives and are no longer able to visit their biological parents or siblings in person as a result of the current coronavirus/COVID-19 pandemic. With court closures around the country, child welfare reunification cases are coming to an immediate halt, leaving many families in limbo. Learn more about the impact of COVID-19 on youth in foster care, including insights from our CEO, Terri Sorensen, and National CASA/GAL Association for Children's CEO, Tara Perry.
In response to widespread stay-at-home orders across the country, Friends have become incredibly innovative to continue delivering our program and keep our 'no matter what' commitment to supporting youth. Friends are dropping off supplies and activities, connecting parents to resources and information, reading books, doing math over the phone and connecting through FaceTime, Zoom, WhatsApp and other technology platforms.