At Friends of the Children, we are on a mission to create systemic change by empowering youth facing the greatest obstacles. Our evidence-based model pairs children with a dedicated, professional mentor - called a Friend - who supports them from kindergarten through high school – 12+ years, no matter what. With trauma-informed and culturally responsive mentoring, Friends of the Children prioritizes mental health and well-being, breaking the stigma surrounding youth mental health challenges.

Professional mentoring improves the mental, emotional, and behavioral health of youth.

Here is how we do it:

  • Trauma-Informed Support: Our mentors provide trauma-informed and culturally responsive services to promote healing and resilience in children who have faced great obstacles and significant barriers to accessing mental health support.
  • Promoting Resilience: Through structured relationship-building and pro-social activities, our mentors create a safe space for youth to feel seen and supported while developing coping skills and emotional resilience.
  • Long-Term Commitment: We commit for the long-term, empowering children to navigate life's challenges and succeed in school and beyond. Our mentors are highly trained and supervised to leverage evidence-based practices to support youth when mental health challenges arise.

Be A Champion for Children

Sign up for our email list to stay connected and learn how you can empower youth with big dreams who also face obstacles like mental health, foster care, poverty, housing insecurity, and more. Together, we can break the stigma surrounding youth mental health and build resilience for future generations.

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Evidence of Impact

With the help of Friends of the Children’s 1:1 professional mentoring, we know that:

  • 95% of youth made progress on social and emotional development, such as asking for help from a caring adult and practicing healthy ways to cope with stress.
  • 92% of youth in the program report accomplishing something they are proud of.
  • 81% of youth developed relationships with supportive adults.
  • 84% of youth (grades 3-12) report no thoughts of self-harm.
  • 80% of children in the program regularly access preventive health services.

Every child should have access to the support they deserve. Our vision is that one day, every child who needs a Friend has one.