United Friends offers housing and education programs for current and former foster youth.

Housing and education are two main areas in which foster youth face barriers and challenges. To help current and former foster youth navigate and succeed within these critical areas, United Friends of the Children has two flagship programs: our Pathways housing program and our Scholars education program.

Pathways Program

Get an apartment. Find a job. Build relationships.

Pathways is our 18-36 month housing program for former foster and probation youth. Services within Pathways include housing, individualized case management, educational support, career/vocational counseling and development, life skills classes, health education, mental health services, and alumni support. Each of these components is aimed at increasing our youth’s self-sufficiency in their transition to adulthood.

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"UFC has been like a second family and has always been there for me. My life with UFC has changed me completely. I learned who I am, what I want to become, and how I can get there."

- Ruby A., United Friends graduate

Scholars Program

Graduate high school. Go to college. Get a degree.

Our Scholars Program serves LA County foster youth from the sixth grade through college completion. Core services include individualized academic counseling and mentorship and group workshops that focus on academic and socio-emotional skill-building. Youth also have access to tutoring and a variety of enrichment activities, including college tours. Counselors take a holistic approach, serving as mentors, coaches and advocates, in order to address the range of barriers impacting youths' academic success. Students can enroll in the Scholars Program at any time. If a grade level is at capacity, students may be placed on a waitlist. Click on the button below to refer or apply.

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"I know that when I need help, I can just call my counselor. You go from just being alone in the world to having full support from someone."

- Scholars Program participant

A Successful Relationship Model

Strong, positive relationships are the cornerstone of UFC's programs. Child Trends, a national research organization focused on improving the lives of children, evaluated the impact of UFC's relationship model. The study found our focus on relationships is the main driver of our youths' success.


Child Trends found that our Pathways residents’ relationships with UFC and our counselors resulted in:

  • Stronger career planning and preparation
  • Increased housing stability
  • Increased civic engagement
  • Increased social competence
Download Pathways Report


Child Trends reported that our Scholars students’ relationships with UFC and our counselors led to:

  • Increased educational engagement
  • Increased goal setting and initiative taking
  • Stronger ties to peers
  • Increased civic engagement
Download Scholars Report


of Pathways residents reported their UFC counselor played a role in preparing them for adulthood.


of Scholars students said their UFC counselors treat them with respect.


of Scholars students said their UFC counselors listen to what they say.

You can support United Friends programming by hosting an internship, making in-kind donations, or volunteering at our events and workshops throughout the year.

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