The number of youth in foster care in the United States is growing. Over 437,000 youth in foster care can benefit from a mentoring relationship. Youth in foster care have experienced trauma, abuse, and/or neglect in their families of origin, and most youth experience multiple moves during their time in foster care. These disruptions hinder opportunities for consistent, healthy adult relationships and positive youth development is negatively impacted. Further, over 20,000 youth in foster care “age out” of state care annually, often not fully prepared with the life skills and emotional well-being necessary to become thriving, healthy adults. Youth who age out of foster care face significant risk factors including dropping out of school, homelessness, unemployment, poverty, early parenting, incarceration and depression. Mentoring is a proven measure for combatting these negative outcomes. Research shows that the presence of a caring adult can buffer against the impact of trauma.
Silver Lining Mentoring’s award winning programs have built a reputation for excellence, positively impacting the lives of youth in foster care. The average length of Silver Lining Mentoring’s mentoring relationships is 55 months, over six times the national average of nine months. Compared to national figures, Silver Lining Mentoring youth participants who have aged out of foster care are graduating high school at twice the rate of their peers and finding employment at three times the rate of peers.