Here in DC, the vast majority of the nearly 1,000 kids in foster care entered the system because of neglect or abuse. So BEST Kids offers them something they desperately need: consistent encouragement and support from a caring adult. BEST Kids provides long-term, one-on-one mentoring and monthly peer group activities to over 160 children and youth (ages 6-21) in DCís child welfare system. Reliability is crucial, so mentors undergo extensive training and receive support from a team of staff and experts in psychiatry, education, legal advocacy, and behavior management. The average mentorship lasts over 18 months, double the national average, and in 2018, 91% of youth surveyed said they knew they could count on their mentors for support: they were actively participating in school, avoiding risky behavior, gaining self-esteem, and learning to advocate for themselves. Letís help them continue to thrive.