|The YouthFriends Network
The YouthFriends network comprises a central office (located in Kansas City, Mo.) and two branch offices – YouthFriends Greater Kansas City and YouthFriends Kansas – that support the volunteer management of participating schools and school districts.
The YouthFriends Central Office provides direct services and on-going technical resources to school districts through comprehensive tools, training and technology in the following areas:
- Risk management
- Relationship management
- Volunteer tracking, recognition and retention strategies
YouthFriends branch offices work directly with participating school districts in specified geographic locations to help them implement YouthFriends successfully at the local level. The technical assistance provided by YouthFriends assists school districts in implementing, expanding, monitoring and sustaining high-quality mentoring programs that meet or exceed national best practices standards for safe and effective mentoring.
At the school district level, YouthFriends is administered by a School District Coordinator -- an employee of the school district who manages the effort within that district. The coordinator builds relationships within the district and its local community to support YouthFriends and to recruit additional volunteers. Coordinators work with school district personnel to identify youth who would benefit from positive role models and to match volunteers to students -- selecting either one-to-one or small group activities. Additionally, school district teams work directly within their communities to heighten YouthFriends awareness and recruit volunteers.
Schools are the location of all YouthFriends activities. Each partner school has a Building Liaison who works with the School District Coordinator to oversee YouthFriends relationships. The success of YouthFriends at the school building level is highly dependent upon the support of the principal, teachers and staff.