Friendship Circle partners with the Alcohol, Drug, and Mental Health Board (ADAMH) of Franklin County, to extend a helping hand to children with special needs and their families by involving them in a full range of social encounters.
Children with special needs often find themselves isolated from their peers, resulting in few opportunities to practice the social skills needed to build lasting friendships and a lack of the sense of belonging children crave and need. Through The Friendship Circle teenage and young-adult volunteers are paired with children with special needs and their families and together they participate in one-on-one and group activities designed to build lasting friendships.
At the same time, volunteers with The Friendship Circle receive valuable training and life experiences. They gain a sense of accomplishment and learn the value of giving freely of one’s time, energies and emotions. They take the skills and lessons they learn with them out into the community as they grow in their personal and professional lives.
Parents and families of children with disabilities participating in The Friendship Circle get a much needed respite as well as the opportunity to socialize with other families of children with special needs. Such opportunities help build a support system often lacking in the special needs community.