Befriend-A-Child Program

The Volunteer and Partner Services Program  engages volunteers and builds partnerships to support families with children
who are at risk of abuse, neglect or placed in foster care or with relatives. Learn more about all Volunteer and Partner Services Programs.

August 2014 Befriend-A-Child Program

In August, the Befriend-A-Child Program visited Splashdown Waterpark in Manassas, VA.

Befriend-A-Child mentors and mentees
posed for a group picture after a fun-filled day.

Mentee Ariana made her way
across the lily pad challenge.

Mentees Kurt and Bradley gave
their best pose for the camera.

Mentee Jacqueline made her way out of
one of the fastest tubes and into the water!

July 2014 Befriend-A-Child Program

In July, the Befriend-A-Child Program held a picnic at E.C. Lawrence Park.
The park's wonderful scenery included a nice pond and hiking trail. The group enjoyed relay games and a water balloon toss. 

Befriend-A-Child mentors and mentees
posed for a group picture at the pavilion.

Mentors and Mentees played a fun game
of water balloon toss in the summer heat!

Who We Are

A volunteer mentoring program for 34 years, Befriend-A-Child provides opportunities for companionship, guidance and support to children who are at risk of abuse and neglect or who have been abused and neglected.

Through mentoring, Befriend-A-Child hopes to reduce some of the child abuse and neglect "risk factors" - social isolation, lack of support, and family stress; and to enhance various "protective factors" - positive self-esteem, good social skills, hobbies, interests, and good peer relationships. Befriend-A-Child can also help encourage youth (with strong parental involvement) to make healthy life decisions and to achieve their potential.

How We Work

Children from ages 5-12 are matched one-on-one with volunteers who are trained to serve as mentors and friends. In addition to spending one-on-one time together, the mentors and children participate in monthly educational and social group activities, such as the holiday party, performing arts workshop, hayride, tour of the Washington Post, and community services project.

Befriend-A-Child mentors are carefully screened, trained, and supervised by social workers. Mentors agree to spend a minimum of eight hours a month and at least twice a month for one year with their mentees.

Our Mission

By connecting at-risk youth with professionally supported, caring adult mentors, BeFriend-A-Child creates a community where children feel more confident and motivated to make informed, responsible life choices and become productive, involved members of the community.

Interested in Becoming a Mentor?

To request an application, please contact Carolina Deras, M.S.W., 703-324-7072 (TTY: 703-222-9452). Provide your:

  • Name
  • U.S. mailing address
  • Email
  • Work and/or home phone and the best time to reach you
  • A brief description on why you want to become a mentor, how did you hear about our program, the work you do, and paid and/or volunteer work experiences

Special Thanks to Our Sponsors

AMF Bowling Centers Inc.
Cameo Kitchens, Inc.
Commonwealth Consultants Foundation
Crowne Plaza Hotel at Tysons Corner
Eta Delta Delta Chapter of Omega Psi Phi
Most Valuable Kids, Inc.
Sun and Moon Yoga Studio


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Watch a video explaining the
Befriend-A-Child Program

Befriend a Child

Give Your Heart a Real Workout
Become a Mentor

The Befriend program has been as fun and rewarding for me as it has been for the many kids it has helped. It’s allowed me to be a kid again while being a mentor to a wonderful child.

- Andy
retired accountant and school bus driver

BeFriend a Child

Being a Befriend-A-Child mentor – like being a parent – gives me the opportunity to influence one special life over many years.

- Andrea
Volunteer Fairfax award recipient, trainer

It’s been the most profoundly enriching, satisfying, fun experience. I’d recommend Befriend-A-Child in a heartbeat.

- Mike
project engineer

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Fairfax County Department of Family Services
[ 12011 Government Center Parkway, Fairfax, VA 22035 ]
[ 703-324-7500 ]

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