Family & Youth Initiative
FYI offers what we believe is the most important factor in changing outcomes for teens in foster care - a lasting relationship with at least one caring adult. We bring together adults and teens so they can get to know each other and form relationships that result in adults being matched with teens as mentors, host parents, or adoptive parents.
We welcome volunteers to get involved with FYI in several ways::
Mentors change the lives of teens in care through the time they spend and relationships they build with their mentees.
Host parents spend weekend visits with their teen and 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.
Deciding to adopt is a big decision. If you are wondering whether adoption is for you, we would love to help you explore that possibility (while you meet some wonderful teens who are waiting for family).
We hold regular (at least twice a month) Saturday activities to bring together adults and teens to have fun and get to know each other. These events are a critical aspect of our program as it is the relationships that start at events that lead to matches for mentoring, host parenting, and adoption.
Our ability to get more teens to the events (and thus matched with adults) is limited by the number of drivers we have to transport teens.
Drivers are then part of the group for whatever activity we are doing that Saturday. (We always have a lot of fun at these events.) Driving is also a great way to get to know the FYI teens.
Drivers must get background clearances.
LOOKING FOR ANOTHER WAY TO GET INVOLVED? Here are some ways you can help:
PLAN A PROGRAM EVENT
Plan and host a program event. Let your creative juices flow as you plan an activity that teens and adults will love (fyi, we can be very competitive so anything game-like would be a hit with us). Doing an event is a great way to meet some of the FYI teens and volunteers and see how the program works. Invite some friends to help you and that means more adults who will get to meet the FYI teens!
Volunteer to photograph one (or more) FYI event. We use event photographs to document our activities and to create the photo albums we give every teen at the spring birthday party. Teens love the photos albums. We love when the photos are professional quality.
HOST A SMALL EVENT
We hold many small events (games, crafts, cooking) for teens and adults (usually around 10 people total). Small events are opportunities for adults and teens to get to know each other in a smaller setting than the typical FYI event. Most small events are held in someone's home or other setting an individual makes available to us. Do you have space and would you host a small event for us?
One example: a "Pamper Party" - an opportunity for some teens and adults to learn about skin care and entrepreneurship and have some fun. The host would provide space in their home (dining room table maybe) for the activity and also provide refreshments.
Contact: Dominique Freeman, Operations Coordinator / 202.863.0975 / firstname.lastname@example.org