• Friends of the Children San Francisco Friends of the Children San Francisco


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Mission Statement

Friends of the Children is a revolutionary mentoring program committed to helping our nation's highest-risk children develop the relationships, goals, and skills they need to break the cycles of poverty, abuse, and violence and become contributing members of society.


Program Principles

Create and Sustain One-on-One Relationships
Research indicates that the single most important factor that fosters resiliency in high-risk children is a caring and consistent relationship with an adult. Friends of the Children provides each child in our program with exactly such a relationship with a paid professional mentor, whom we call a Friend.

Intervene Early
A Friend enters a child's life by the age of six, before negative behaviors have become ingrained. Early intervention enables a Friend to model and instill positive behaviors while the child's heart and mind are open.

Commit for the Long-Term
We are committed to providing a Friend for our children for twelve years -- from first grade through high school. We keep this commitment even when children move or change schools within our service area. No behavior or circumstance will result in a child being "kicked out" of our program.

Employ Professional Mentors
Friends are full-time, trained, paid professional mentors who are hired for their experience and talent for working with high-risk children. With their diversity, education, passion, and commitment, Friends are the heart of our program.

Maintain Manageable Numbers
Because each Friend works with no more than eight children, a Friend is able to give each child his or her full attention for at least four hours each week, every week.

Connect All Areas of Children's Lives
Because Friends spend time in each child's home, school, neighborhood, and community, they provide continuity in often unstable environments and serve as a link between the different facets of a child's life.

Provide Meaningful Experiences
We design unique experiences for each of our children so they can explore and develop their diverse talents and interests, expand their worldviews, and learn vital relationship and life skills.

Set Positive and Reasonable Expectations
Our children will succeed. Because we believe in them, they will grow to believe in themselves. We nurture each child's progress with an individualized plan based on his or her unique needs, abilities and gifts.

Evaluate and Improve our Program
We are assessed by a professional third-party evaluator so we can highlight our successes and identify ways to make our remarkable program even stronger.



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