Imagine turning 21 and finding yourself without the support of a family. The vast majority of older children in foster care are never adopted and instead “age out” of the system – a transition that leads to alarming rates of unemployment, homelessness, and incarceration. So Family and Youth Initiative, working annually with 25-30 foster youth ages 12-21, makes sure they don’t have to face the world alone. Groups of young people and adult volunteers come together in comfortable environments: over shared meals, in bowling alleys, at softball games. Over time, with FYI’s support, teens with traumatic pasts learn to trust again and adults see their stereotypes about foster youth melt away. A variety of relationships naturally develops: one-on-one mentorships, “host families” who welcome youth for regular weekend visits, and official adoptions. This program is, quite frankly, life-changing. Since 2010, no participant has left foster care without a loving adult in his or her life, and 22 youth have found adoptive families. What does family mean to these kids? Asked on the day of his adoption, one participant responded: “Everything.”

Awards & Recognition

Fair Chance partner agency, selected spring 2014


    Budget (FY2014)

    • $3 million or higher
    • $1 million to $3 million
    • $500k to $1 million
    • The current budget for Family and Youth Initiative is: Less than $500k

    Catalogue charities range in size from $100,000 to $3 million. This graphic indicates the budget range of the organization featured here. If you see an organizational budget above the $3 million mark, that is because the featured charity has grown in size since it first appeared in the Catalogue. We proudly present on our website the work of these "growth" charities.

    About the Catalogue for Philanthropy

    Each year 120 expert reviewers evaluate applicants for distinction, merit, and impact. Each featured charity has been successfully site visited and its financials given the thumbs up. The Catalogue for Philanthropy charges no fees and raises funds separately to support its work. Since 2003, it has raised over $40 million for charities across the Greater Washington region.

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