Friends LA's work is based on a unique Two-Generation (2Gen) approach where we leverage our proven model to impact generational change for both youth and caregivers.

By supporting both generations to meet their own goals through the placement of a Friend, we strengthen the entire family unit. We do this by:

The youth and families that we serve are resilient in the face of systemic and institutional barriers. This is especially true for our parents — most of whom are former foster youth themselves. Interaction with the child welfare system, and the resulting trauma it can create, negatively impacts both children and their parents. In order to prevent and combat these negative effects, Friends LA is focused on building a strong 2Gen model.

Read Our 2Gen Case Study

Emerging research shows when a child does better, a parent does better and vice versa. Results from this recent Caregiver Survey further demonstrate just how significant having a Friend is in the lives of our families.

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In order to maximize positive whole-family outcomes, Friends and program staff are trained in the research based Strengthening Families Protective Factors Framework. This framework sets out to target and build off of a family’s natural strengths, increase child development, and create family environments where children can thrive!

We use this model to intentionally engage families and caregivers to reduce the likelihood of further contact with the child welfare and foster care systems by providing families with the support that they need through the implementation of 5 key Protective Factors:

1. Parental Resilience

2. Social Connections

3. Knowledge of Parenting & Child Development

4. Concrete Supports

5. Social Emotional Competence of Children

The impact of our professional mentorship approach is real, and it works — for caregivers, for youth, and for the generations that follow. In fact, according to the Harvard Business School of Oregon, every $1 invested in program youth returns $7 to the community. That $7 return on investment becomes almost $27 when siblings, classmates and the next generation are included in the equation.