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 photos of  BeFriend-A-Child Program activities in February, January, December and past activities in 2015 or 2014.

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.

"This is one of the best things I've seen from the County!" Shared by a father about how a BeFriend-A-Child mentor has positively impacted his child's life.

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 Children, Youth and Families Division are referred by their family's CYF 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 and mentees are matched for two years. Mentors must be able to make a two-year commitment, spending at least eight hours every month with their mentee and participating in monthly group outings at least once per quarter. 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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Give Your Heart a Real Workout
Become a Mentor

Note: For more information about the BeFriend-A-Child Program,
email Jacilyn Skupien or call 703-324-7072.

"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

"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

befriend a child group photo

befriend a child group photo

befriend a child group photo


  February 2016 Activity

Raspberry cheesecake brownies? Yes please! As a post-Valentine’s treat, BeFriend-A-Child mentors and mentees gathered to spend some time in the kitchen.
Baking is a wonderful activity for adults and children to do together- it teaches teamwork, concentration, and responsibility.

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 January 2016 Activity

Mentors and mentees traveled to DC to explore the treasures found at the Natural History museum.
The group had fun wearing 3-D glasses as we watched Jean-Michel Cousteau’s IMAX film “Secret Ocean”.

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December 2015 Activity

'This was my best day ever!' exclaimed a BeFriend mentee at our annual holiday party.
Over 100 mentors, mentees and their families spent the afternoon at Reston Community Center celebrating the holidays and the close of a great 2015 year.

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

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