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.

Who We Are          How We Work          Our Mission         Become a Mentor          Special Thanks to Our Sponsors

See past Befriend-A-Child Program activities in February January DecemberNovember, October, September, August and July.

 March 2015 Activity

Befriend-A-Child mentors and mentees visited George Mason University. 
They gathered to put together care packages and delivered them to residents of a local retirement community.



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 February 2015 Activity

As snowflakes began to fall on, Befriend-A-Child mentors and mentees jumped, laughed and bounced to stay warm.
Thanks to Flight Trampoline Park in Springfield, relationships were strengthened and memories were made with each jump.
Just as each jump took them higher, Befriend-A-Child mentors encourage their mentees to reach new heights.
Thank you to Flight Trampoline for making this outing possible. 


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 January 2015 Activity

Mentors and mentees embraced the winter season with ice-skating!


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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.

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How We Work

Children from ages 5 - 12 whose families are involved with Fairfax County's Department of Family Services are referred by their family's DFS worker. Children are matched one-on-one with trained volunteer mentors. In addition to spending one-on-one time together, the mentors and mentees participate in monthly group outings throughout the year, such as ice skating, hiking, Celebrate Fairfax!, community service, and the annual holiday party.

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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.

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Become a Mentor

Volunteer mentors must be at least 21 years of age and be able to pass FBI criminal record, Child Protective Services, and DMV driving record checks. Mandatory training is required prior to being matched with a mentee. Mentors must make a minimum one-year commitment and agree to spend a minimum of eight hours per month and attend at least four group outings per year with their mentees. Male applicants and bilingual English-Spanish speakers are highly encouraged to apply.

To learn more about becoming a mentor and to request an application, please contact Jacilyn Skupien 703-324-7072 (TTY: 703-222-9452).

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befriend a child video icon
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

    December 2014 Activity

What do teddy bears, lasagna and the Macarena have in common? They were all highlights of this year's Befriend-A-Child holiday party!
On Saturday, December 6, over 90 mentees, mentors and their families came out to Mt. Vernon Presbyterian Church to celebrate.
Thank you to all of our sponsors and volunteers who made this event possible!

 



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   November 2014 Activity

The Befriend-A-Child Program mentors and mentees prepared for Thanksgiving by learning how to make pumpkin pie for their families.
Angie Carrera invited The Aubergine Chef, Jason Shriner, to volunteer his time and expertise.
Kitchen space was provided by Truro Anglican Church in Fairfax.
Ingredients were provided by Leo Pareja of Keller Williams Realty.
Everyone enjoyed pie tastings before taking home their own made-from-scratch pies!






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     October 2014 Activity

The Befriend-A-Child Program hosted a day of hiking for mentors and mentees.
Whether it was enjoying a trail or relaxing by the water, everyone enjoyed a beautiful time outside! 


















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   September 2014 Activity

The Befriend-A-Child Program hosted a bowling outing for mentors and mentees. Lots of fun was had by everyone!










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September 2014 Activity

Befriend-A-Child mentor, Ken, and his mentee went to a Washington Nationals baseball game.
The tickets were complimentary thanks to Most Valuable Kids (MVK), a Befriend-A-Child partner.

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August 2014 Activity

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!

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July 2014 Activity

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!

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

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