United Friends of the Children is Changing the Face of Foster Care For Generations to Come

family 2013


Dedicated to the principle that foster youth deserve a successful adulthood, United Friends of the Children proves that given the right support and opportunities there is an alternative to the dismal outcomes for this underserved population.

Los Angeles, CA (PRWEB) February 11, 2013

United Friends of the Children has been awarded a $1 million grant by the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation to support the organization’s efforts to help Los Angeles-based foster youth graduate from high school, eligible to attend four-year colleges. This award recognizes the quality of the programs offered by United Friends of the Children and is testament to the outcomes delivered through its education and housing programs.

United Friends of the Children is leading the way in delivering education programs that defy national outcomes for this underserved population. With almost 50% of foster youth not graduating from high school and less than 4% earning their college degree, poor educational outcomes are a major factor in the lack of success foster youth experience when they transition out of care. By preparing more foster youth to graduate from high school and attend and graduate from four-year colleges, United Friends of the Children is dramatically increasing their chances for success. Currently, 100% of students enrolled in the College Readiness Program for four or more years are graduating from high school, and 70% of youth participating in the College Sponsorship program go on to earn their bachelor’s degree.

“The grant award from the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation confirms United Friends of the Children as a leader in providing alternative outcomes for foster youth,” said Polly Williams, president of United Friends of the Children. “Our programs empower transition-aged foster youth to fulfill their educational dreams, including graduating from high school and four-year colleges, and provide them with the foundation to lead independent and successful adult lives.”

“By serving a critical mass of foster youth through its College Readiness program, United Friends of the Children will change the generational impact of foster care in Los Angeles, thus reducing the need for crisis intervention and government services in adulthood,” said Jeannine Balfour, Senior Program Officer for the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation. “The odds are stacked against youth transitioning out of foster care, but with the right programmatic support and emotional encouragement from caring adults, it is proven that foster youth have the same chance to succeed as their peers.”

Over 30 years of experience has shown us that the best way to make a difference in the lives of foster youth is to provide a reliable relationship over time. Therefore, United Friends of the Children’s programs focus on commitment and consistency. College Readiness students can receive up to six years of support; College Sponsorship participants can count on five years of financial support; Pathways participants can spend 18–24 months in program housing but the relationship extends many years beyond that through our alumni program. UFC uses its knowledge and experience to influence policy decisions and is a frequent resource to others locally and across the country, sharing program models, information and expertise. For more information, please visit http://www.UnitedFriends.org.

The Conrad N. Hilton Foundation was created in 1944 by international business pioneer Conrad N. Hilton, who founded Hilton Hotels and left his fortune to help the world’s disadvantaged and vulnerable people. The Foundation currently conducts strategic initiatives in six priority areas: providing safe water, ending chronic homelessness, preventing substance abuse, helping children affected by HIV and AIDS, supporting transition-age youth in foster care, and extending Conrad Hilton’s support for the work of Catholic Sisters. Following selection by an independent international jury, the Foundation annually awards the $1.5 million Conrad N. Hilton Humanitarian Prize to a nonprofit organization doing extraordinary work to reduce human suffering. From its inception, the Foundation has awarded more than $1 billion in grants, distributing $82 million in the U.S. and around the world in 2011. The Foundation’s current assets are approximately $2 billion.


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