Family and Youth Initiative (DCFYI) supports older teens in foster care and helps them make lifelong connections with caring adults.
Become a Mentor- Mentors are matched with a youth and work one-on-one with that youth, developing a personal supportive relationship. Mentors spend time with youth, participating in any activity that mentor and mentee agree on. Typical activities include going to museums, exercising or playing a sport, going to parks or cultural events, sightseeing, window shopping, going to the library. Some mentors help mentees with homework or school projects. Others help their mentee explore college or career options. The range of activities will depend upon the interests and age and needs of the teen. Mentors spend at least eight hours a month with their mentee. Some of the time could be at DCFYI events, but most of their time is spent in the community doing other things. Mentors commit to mentoring a youth for at least two years, because participating youth need people who will be in their lives long-term.
Become a Host Parent- Family & Youth Initiative host parents give teens in foster care the best possibility of finding an adoptive family. They create opportunities for other adults to get to know the teen, greatly increasing the probability that the teen will meet a person or couple who will decide to adopt.
Host parents and teens forge a special bond over weekend visits, incorporating the teen into the host’s family life. They cook and eat together, have fun, do weekend chores, attend religious services, explore the neighborhood, and meet neighbors. The host family serves as the teen’s adoption advocate, talking to others about the teen and his or her desire to be adopted and planning activities where adults and teen can meet.
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