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. We support not only the youth enrolled in our program, but their parents as well – creating a holistic model of support for the entire family.
Friends LA has built strong relationships with our parents. They've told us that what they need in order to achieve their hopes and dreams are people who believe in their power, potential and contributions. We are here for them - no matter what - to provide them the support they need so they can be there for their children.
The youth and families we serve are resilient in the face of systemic and institutional barriers. Those systems, and the resulting trauma they create, negatively impact both our youth and their caregivers, which is why Friends LA is so focused on building a strong 2Gen model. This is especially true for our parents - most of whom are former foster youth themselves.
Emerging research shows when a child does better, a parent does better and vice versa. Our 2020 survey showed that our work had a significant impact on our families.
As we continue to build Core Assets, collaboratively set goals and empower youth to meet long-term outcomes, our 2Gen approach leverages the power of a Friend's relationship with caregivers to support them to meet their own goals as caregivers. 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
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.
Our model is real, and it works – for youth, for caregivers, and for the generations that follow.