Mission & Vision

United Friends of the Children empowers current and former foster youth on their journey to self-sufficiency through service-enriched education and housing programs, advocacy, and consistent relationships with a community of people who care.

United Friends of the Children's vision is to change the face of foster care in Los Angeles.

Our Guiding Principles

  1. Build Meaningful, Lasting Relationships

    Our programs focus on commitment and consistency. By forging lasting, trusting relationships with youth in our programs, we address their single most critical emotional need.

  2. Provide Resources for a Successful Transition to Adulthood

    Our Pathways program surrounds foster youth age 18-24 with positive role models, creating enduring relationships, challenging youth to better themselves, and providing a safety net in the form of a service-enriched housing program.

  3. Change Current Educational Outcomes

    By preparing more youth to graduate from high school and attend four-year colleges, United Friends is challenging the current dismal outcomes for foster kids relative to education. Our programs dramatically increase their chance for success.


United Friends of the Children has been an integral part of the Los Angeles foster care community since our founding by Nancy M. Daly in 1979.

Our early advocacy efforts helped establish the Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services and pass the Foster Care Independence Act.  Innovations in direct services span from co-founding the first transitional housing program in the nation for former foster youth to the creation of an 11-year education support  continuum that follows foster youth from the seventh grade through the completion of a bachelor’s degree.

Financials & Evaluations


Dedicated Individuals—One Mission—One Organization
Matt Strieker
Executive Director
Varina Bleil
Deputy Director
Angela Carter-Blackshear, MSW
Senior Director of Housing
Megan Levitan
Director of Education
Carolyn Lumpkin, LCSW
Director, Clinical Support
Danielle Morgan, MA
Director of Impact + Evaluation


United Friends of the Children is dedicated to the premise that foster youth deserve a successful adulthood. Our work is about building effective and empowering partnerships with the youth, the community and each other. Want to join our team? Visit our careers page to view open positions and learn more.