July 07, 2023

Friends of the Children Expands its Impact across the Country, Including Doubling the Children Served in Los Angeles

In the last fiscal year, the Friends of the Children national network has continued its strong growth—adding three new chapters as well as four new location sites to existing chapters. This past year Friends – Houston, Friends – Twin Cities, and Friends – Eastern Idaho launched as new chapters, while Friends – Boston, Friends – Chicago, Friends – He Sapa, and Friends – Western Montana increased their reach by creating additional chapter locations. Both new locations for He Sapa and Western Montana are culturally-specific and were created in partnership with Sovereign Tribal Nationals and are located on reservation land.

In addition to this astounding growth, the network had great cause to celebrate this June as Friends – Los Angeles secured $13.5 million in funding for a three-year expansion to address the nation’s largest foster care population and grow the work of the chapter into every corner of Los Angeles County. This funding from the Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health will double the impact of Friends of the Children – Los Angeles, increasing the number of children to 360 and the number of family members who will benefit from the program to 1,700 county-wide by 2026.  

Los Angeles Supervisor Holly J. Mitchell said, "I am thrilled that the extension of Los Angeles County’s partnership with Friends of the Children will include a focus on Black girls–who are disproportionately represented in our child welfare and justice system. I look forward to the positive outcomes this will have on some of our most vulnerable residents.”

Building on the Antelope Valley pilot project, where not a single child enrolled in the Friends – Los Angeles program has entered the foster care system, this expansion will support an additional 176 youth most at risk of foster care entry to have a Friend in Los Angeles. This is amazing news not only for Friends of the Children – Los Angeles and our entire national network, but for the thousands of children and family members who will benefit from this investment in youth who have big dreams.

In the last fiscal year, the Friends of the Children national network has grown to 34 locations throughout the United States, in rural, Indigenous, suburban, and urban communities. We now walk alongside youth for 12+ years no matter what in 20 different states and Sovereign Tribal Nations.