The Volunteer and Partner Services Program engages
volunteers and builds partnerships to support families with
who are at risk of abuse, neglect or placed in foster care or with relatives. Learn more about all Volunteer and Partner Services Programs.
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.
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.
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.
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 Lindsey Henderson 703-324-7072, TTY: 703-222-9452.
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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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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