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May 10, 2019


Over the next 5 years, we will double the number of youth we serve and focus enrollment on system involved children and families

Friends of the Children-New York (Friends NY) has been serving children and families in Harlem and the South Bronx for more than 16 years. Fueled by public and private investments, Friends NY is now focused on doubling enrollment in the next five years, with the goal of serving more than 30% of the 4-6 year old children in Harlem and the South Bronx whose families have been impacted by the foster care and criminal justice systems.


Our model is both scalable and sustainable. Our “Friends”—salaried, professional mentors—are empowering hundreds of youth in our city to achieve their hopes and dreams. Working with private and public funders, we will raise $15 - $17 million over the next 3 years to ensure a sustainable operating budget for our expansion, as we look to double the number of Friends we employ and youth and families that we serve.



Our expansion will directly impact two of New York City’s most challenged systems: child welfare and criminal justice. Youth aging out of our foster care system struggle in numerous ways: only 55% graduate from high school and 25% cross-over into the juvenile justice system. Similarly, the challenges for families working to re-enter the community on parole and probation are numerous, including limited housing options, lack of adequate education or job skills, and lack of access to behavioral health supports.

As New York City acknowledges years of historical injustice by transforming its child welfare system, and reforming its prison system, Friends NY has a unique opportunity to positively impact youth and families of Harlem and the South Bronx, empowering them to overcome the multiple effects of poverty and familial fragmentation.



We have more than 16 years of data to prove that our innovative model works. That is because we set goals that are fueled by our entrepreneurial spirit. We know what works and we continue to adjust along the way so that we can empower each family’s unique potential. We're taking an innovative approach to address two specific areas:

Foster Care: Our model is proven to achieve well-being and reduce trauma for youth who’ve experienced foster care. At Friends NY, more than 40 percent of our youth have experienced foster or kinship care and those youth achieve our long-term outcomes at the same rates as youth not involved in foster care.

Two-Generation Impact: A two-generation (2Gen) approach helps children and parents make progress together and strengthens our impact in families and communities. As a decades-old generational change model, we are finding new ways to maximize our relationships with families and measure even larger return on investment. Beginning in 2019, Friends NY will be enrolling the 4-6 year old children of young adult parents who have experienced foster care.



Using a trauma-informed, culturally-responsive approach, Friends NY has a proven track record of supporting youth to advance to adulthood with a strong foundation. Our sustainable, scalable and data-driven model has the potential to reach every young person in New York City that needs us.

Join us! Every dollar we raise counts, and every Friend you support can make the difference. Join us by donating to our Expansion Campaign and help us to break the cycle of poverty for our children, one Friend at a time.