Most older children in foster care “age out” of the system without being adopted — a transition that leads to alarming rates of unemployment, homelessness, and incarceration. So DCFYI, working annually with 35–40 foster youth ages 12–21, makes sure they don’t have to face the world alone. Committed relationships develop over shared meals and baseball games, with DCFYI supporting one-on-one mentorships, “host families” who welcome youth for regular weekend visits, and official adoptions. Young adults about to "age out" of foster care, and others who already have, find a safety net in an Open Table of six to eight adults dedicated to helping them achieve their goals. Since 2010, no participant has left foster care without a loving adult in his or her life, and 28 youth have been adopted. What does family mean to these kids? Asked on the day of his adoption, one participant responded: “Everything.”

Headquarters: DC-Ward 6

Where They Operate: DC-Citywide

Age Groups Served: Youth (5-11); Pre-teen/teen (12-17); Young adult (18-24)

Ethnic Groups Served: African American

  • Number of adults who have participated in program activities and gotten to know teens in foster care:   100
  • Percentage of active teens who are matched with a mentor:   65%
  • Number of teens with finalized adoptions this year:   Two
  • Number of teens moved in with adoptive parents this year (adoption not yet finalized):   Three

Awards & Recognition

"Angel in Adoption," Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute, November 2019
recognized as a "Hometown Hero" by wgts91.9, August 2019
D.C. United "Community Star," August 2017
Fair Chance partner agency, selected spring 2014


Budget (FY2023)

  • $3 million or higher
  • $1 million to $3 million
  • $500k to $1 million
  • The current budget for Family & Youth Initiative is: Less than $500k

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