Most older children in foster care “age out” of the system without being adopted – a transition that leads to alarming rates of unemployment, homelessness, and incarceration. So DCFYI, working annually with 35-40 foster youth ages 12-21, makes sure they don’t have to face the world alone. Youth participants and adult volunteers come together in comfortable environments – over shared meals, in bowling alleys, at softball games. With DCFYI’s support, teens learn to trust, and adults see their stereotypes about foster youth melt away. Naturally, relationships develop: one-on-one mentorships, “host families” who welcome youth for regular weekend visits, and official adoptions. Since 2010, no participant has left foster care without a loving adult in his or her life, and 25 youth have been adopted. What does family mean to these kids? Asked on the day of his adoption, one participant responded: “Everything.”
COVID-19 Update: Running totally counter to their ethos, group programming moved online during this difficult time. More recently, small, socially-distanced, in-person events have begun and at the same time teens and adults continue to engage virtually for advice, guidance, and a sense of belonging.
Headquarters: DC-Ward 6
Where They Operate: DC-Citywide
Age Groups Served: Youth (5-11); Pre-teen/teen (12-17); Young adult (18-24)
Ethnic Groups Served: African American
- Number of adults who have participated in program activities and gotten to know teens in foster care:
- Percentage of active teens who are matched with a mentor:
- Number of teens with finalized adoptions this year:
- Number of teens moved in with adoptive parents this year (adoption not yet finalized):
Awards & Recognition
"Angel in Adoption," Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute, November 2019
recognized as a "Hometown Hero" by wgts91.9, August 2019
D.C. United "Community Star," August 2017
Fair Chance partner agency, selected spring 2014
- $3 million or higher
- $1 million to $3 million
- $500k to $1 million
- The current budget for Family & Youth Initiative is: Less than $500k
Catalogue charities range in size from $100,000 to
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