For a child in foster care, life is anything but stable. Kids often move from house to house and school to school, uncertain of what the future holds. Here in DC, the vast majority of the more than 1,000 kids in foster care entered the system because of neglect or abuse. So BEST Kids offers foster children something they desperately need: consistent encouragement and guidance from a caring adult. BEST Kids provides long-term, one-on-one mentoring and monthly peer group activities to over 100 children and youth (ages 6-21) in DCís child welfare system. Reliability is crucial, so mentors undergo extensive training; they also receive support from a team of experts in psychiatry, education, legal advocacy, and behavior management. The average mentoring relationship lasts over 16 months Ė nearly double the national average. And in 2014, 90% of surveyed youth were making positive progress on at least three defined goals. Despite the challenges they face, these kids are getting better grades, avoiding violent behavior, staying away from drugs, and gaining self-esteem. Letís help them continue to thrive.

Headquarters: DC-Ward 6

Where They Operate: DC-Citywide; MD-Prince George's County

Age Groups Served: Youth (5-11); Pre-teen/teen (12-17); Young adult (18-24)

Ethnic Groups Served: African American; Latino/Hispanic

Awards & Recognition

Virginia Mentoring Partnership- Quality Based Member- November 2015


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Budget (FY2014)

  • $3 million or higher
  • $1 million to $3 million
  • The current budget for BEST Kids is: $500k to $1 million
  • Less than $500k

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