BEST Kids is a nonprofit mentoring organization that empowers youth in foster care to build better futures, one child at a time.
BEST Kids Mentoring Program is guided by the belief that all children are talented. Through our one-on-one volunteer mentoring, our extensive training, staff support and our experiential-learning-based peer group, we encourage our youth to discover and develop their unique skills and abilities. Beginning with children as young as six and continuing, as needed, until adulthood, BEST Kids Mentoring Program works to enable youth to develop a positive sense of self, to acquire teamwork and group social skills, and to become productive members of society.
BEST Kids is the gold standard mentoring organization, providing every child in foster care with at least one stable and long-lasting relationship with a positive adult to support kids’ life challenges, transitions, and to act as a bridge for achieving their dreams.
Fun- We provide and strive to maintain a fun environment.
Care, Compassion, Love-We welcome, value and accept kids as they are.
Relationships-We create meaningful and impactful mentor / mentee relationships through quality time.
Support-We are committed to provide unconditional support to mentees as they grow and pursue their individual passions and dreams.
Teamwork- We maintain an atmosphere where all stakeholders contribute to and are accountable for our success and stability, and we build and nurture relationships through an appreciation for volunteers and staff.
BEST Kids, Inc., is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization that provides mentoring to foster care children in the District of Columbia’s Child Welfare System. One of the strongest single protective factors a child can have is a close relationship with a caring adult who serves as a mentor and role model. Despite this, long term, consistent, one-on-one mentoring is almost non-existent for foster care children. We are the first pilot program in the District of Columbia to provide volunteer mentors dedicated to mentoring children in foster care. Operating under the first ever Volunteer Mentor Partnership (VMP) Grant with the District of Columbia’s Child and Family Services Agency, BEST Kids mentoring program is able to provide volunteer mentors for children as young as six and continue, as needed, until they reach the age of twenty-one years old. BEST Kids asks mentors to commit to at least one year of mentoring and to perform, on average, 10 hours a month of face-to-face contact.
BEST Kids was started in 2001 by Todd Leibbrand, who served as a Volunteer Advocate and a Court-Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) for over ten years to two boys in foster care in the District of Columbia. Todd saw the tremendous need for a positive adult role model in the boys’ lives and wanted to help other boys and girls in the same way. Todd now serves on the Board of Directors and many professionals and child advocates who have deep experience in working with and reaching this population still assist with the development of the program.
“Mentoring is something I look forward to every week. It gives both the mentee and mentor the opportunity to see things from another perspective.”