Friends of the Children’s drive to expand its reach to more youth in foster care and high-poverty, high-crime neighborhoods just got a major boost thanks to a federal grant from the Social Innovation Fund (SIF), a program of the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS).
Through the Social Innovation Fund, CNCS announced today that it will invest $4 million in Friends of the Children to expand its evidence-based program. The grant will accelerate the organization’s impact by bringing the Friends model to more cities throughout the nation and increasing the number of youth served nationally by more than 50 percent.
"Friends of the Children has earned this award by focusing at all times on its core mission of helping young people to overcome life's most difficult challenges," said U.S. Senator Ron Wyden. "I am thrilled that Friends has achieved this well-deserved recognition and the resources to expand its proven model to empower even more youth to realize the possibilities that exist within themselves and their communities."
This fall, we will hold a national competition for matching grants, inviting applications for expansion of our evidence-based model from our existing sites and from new communities throughout the U.S. The challenge match requirement of $10 million from private philanthropy is an opportunity for truly impactful partnerships.
“We won’t stop until every youth who needs one has a Friend,” said Terri Sorensen, Friends of the Children’s National President. “The SIF grant is a major leap forward in our national expansion plan to scale our proven model to more cities to impact thousands of more children.” SIF demonstrates the importance of combining innovation, evaluation and scale to accelerate the pace of change.