A major philanthropic organization announced Monday it is bankrolling a gold-standard research project on the effectiveness of long-term mentoring of children who are facing adversity.
At the same time, the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation also announced it is funding an expansion of the Friends of the Children’s two-generation (2Gen) approach to mentoring parenting youth impacted by foster care and, by extension, their families.
Under the Friends of the Children model, professional mentors known as Friends provide at least 12 years of close support for a child and their caregivers to build sustained and nurturing relationships with youth who have experienced multiple adverse childhood experiences, or ACES, by the time they start school. Friends of the Children partners with schools, foster care systems and community-based organizations to identify young children who could benefit from the support.
The $1 million set aside for a randomized controlled trial will measure the impact of that approach after crunching six years of data from up to five Friends of the Children locations throughout the United States. A randomized controlled trial is considered the most reliable method of measuring evidence-based practice. Approximately 650 caregivers will be enrolled in the study.
The study will be conducted in partnership with the University of Notre Dame’s Wilson Sheehan Lab for Economic Opportunities.
The foundation also awarded Friends of the Children a $2.4 million grant to expand the 2Gen professional mentoring support and other services to young parents who were involved in foster care in its Los Angeles and New York City chapters.
The Conrad N. Hilton Foundation is a funder of The Imprint’s parent organization, Fostering Media Connections.