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:
SUPPORTING caregivers to understand their child's needs and strengths
EQUIPPING caregivers with social and emotional learning skills
PROMOTING self-advocacy within complex systems, like education and child welfare
CONNECTING families to concrete supports, and
CREATING opportunity for peer-to-peer and community connections
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.
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.
Our model 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.