Answers to common questions for youth transitioning into adulthood.

I'm a young adult who grew up in foster care. Can I participate in the UP4Youth Program?

Yes, if you were involved in foster care at any time in your life, live in Los Angeles County, and are between the ages of 16 and 24, you are eligible to participate in the program. Call us at 213-365-2900 or email info@extraordinaryfamilies.org to find out more about program eligibility.

I need a job. Can you help me?

Yes, we can help you with employment preparation and placement. We work with many community partners and employers to help current and former foster youth get a job or start a career.

I dropped out of high school and need my GED. Can you help me?

Absolutely! We partner with agencies that specialize in this, including tutoring if needed – all at no cost!

I want to go to college, but I don't know where to begin. What should I do?

We think advancing your education is one of the most important decisions you can make. That’s why we provide various services to help you with making educational decisions, filling out applications, and accessing financial aid. Contact us at 213-365-2900 or info@extraordinaryfamilies.org to get started.

I aged out of foster care, and I'm not sure what to do next. My parents aren't around, and I wasn't adopted. I wish I had someone to talk to who could help me know what to do. Can you help?

Yes. This is is such an important time in your life. We are here to help you form positive relationships with committed adult mentors. They will help with achieving your goals and preparing for independence. Many times mentors actually become a part of your extended network of support.

Answers to common questions for current and potential mentors of youth who are transitioning into adulthood.

I want to help youth in foster care, but I don't want to be a resource (foster) parent. Is there a way to do that?

Yes! You can volunteer as a mentor with our Up4Youth Program. You will be able to help current and former foster youth achieve independence and prepare for adulthood.

I heard youth in foster care have a lot of challenges. What can I expect as a mentor?

As with any age child in foster care, teenagers and young adults have unique strengths which are best developed in an environment with caring and dedicated resource (foster/adoptive) parents and mentors.

Teens in foster care have survived trauma, which may include witnessing or experiencing physical, sexual, or emotional abuse, and/or neglect. In addition to the trauma they experienced prior to foster care, it is not uncommon for foster youth to be moved to and from multiple foster or group homes, which disrupts relationships with family, peers, community, and educational supports. This loss and rejection can profoundly affect a foster youth’s self-esteem and confidence and lead to academic delays, mental/behavioral health issues,and/or drug and alcohol use.

You can expect extensive training and support from our team of professionals who will prepare you and guide you as you navigate this important relationship.

How many hours a month do I need to commit as a mentor?

Mentors meet with youth at least 8 hours a month in individual and group settings, as well as maintaining regular contact as needed.

Will I be trained?

Yes, our mentors are provided with training to help them understand the developmental needs of youth in the foster care system as well on ways to create a productive and meaningful mentoring relationship.