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FOCUS is designed to connect youth who age out of foster care with caring adults, critical resources, and their larger community. FOCUS is a national initiative of Friends of Children, a 30-year old independent nonprofit organization that has advocated for the interests of more than 12,000 children in the child welfare system in Massachusetts.
Potential volunteers are invited to support young people aging out of foster care in the following ways:
- Support a young person with basic needs and connecting to resources
- Provide group workshop opportunities or 1:1 advisement in your area of expertise
- Provide long-term mentorship to a young person
- Participate in our Seeing Our Voices program that provides artistic educational opportunities and connects young people to opportunities to express themselves through various forms of artistic expression; We seek artists, musicians and other creative professionals to participate in this program.
About Friends of Children Inc.
245 Russell Street #22, 245 Russell Street, Hadley, MA 01035, US
Friends of Children fosters the dignity of children and young people in the child welfare system by persistently advocating for supports and services that promote their long-term well-being. Our vision is that every child and young person impacted by their involvement in the child welfare system has opportunities and access to resources that will increase resiliency and personal capacity and enhance lifelong well-being.
Friends of Children has three main programs to meet the needs of vulnerable children and young people. Our Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) program provides training and supervision for community volunteers to serve as best interest advocates for abused, neglected and other vulnerable children and youth involved in the Hampshire/Franklin Juvenile Court. Our FOCUS: Foster Futures program provides trained and supported volunteers in teams of three to match with one young person, 18-24, who has aged-out of the foster care system. This opportunity is, at this time, located in western Massachusetts. Our Children's Union addresses the needs of children in the child welfare system by advocating for statewide policies to improve their lives.
We do this by:
- Encouraging civic engagement in all aspects of the organization
- Informing the public and critical decision makers to promote needed change
- Connecting children, young people and families to critical resources
- Advocating for services when they are needed or denied
- Facilitating collaboration and coordination
- Developing innovative models to support children when service gaps exist
- Conducting Research linked to best practices and public policy
We'll work with your schedule.
245 Russell StreetSuite 14Hadley, MA 01035
- Child Welfare
- Financial Literacy
- Food Service
- Youth Services
- Driver's License Needed
- Background Check
- Must be at least 21
- Orientation or Training
- 10-20 hours monthly; usually less; Team members commit to a minimum of three years with their mentee. They will receive comprehensive training to work with former foster youth, as well as ongoing supervision and support.
- Training Details: Training process consists of a CORI, application, interview, and three combined personal and professional references.