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. For a more detailed program description, visit our Program page.
BEST Kids seeks to promote better futures for youth in the District of Columbia’s child welfare system by developing and supporting one-on-one mentoring relationships between the youth and caring, consistent adults.
BEST Kids envisions a future in which:
- Its youth population is the product of a robust, articulated, performance-driven, and unique mentoring practice, and greatest proof of its best practices and leadership;
- Its mentors are viewed as its greatest asset, and are supported, developed and celebrated accordingly;
- BEST Kids is a vital piece of the fabric of organizations, institutions, and people who support its clients, and a leader, focal point, catalyst, and advocate for these other institutions;
- BEST Kids is sustainable in every sense, cultivating long-term relationships with everyone whose lives it touches.
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 is assisted by many professionals and child advocates who have deep experience in working with and reaching this population.
We invite you to click on our Board of Directors, Staff, and Advisory Board links on the right side of the page to get a better understanding of the breadth of experience contributing to BEST Kids. The organization currently is funded by the VMP grant and individual donations and is seeking corporate and foundation assistance, as well.
We encourage you to explore our site and, if you are interested in becoming more involved, please contact us.