Failing Our Kids

Measures of the Broken Child Welfare System in Massachusetts

News & Commentary – with a Critical Eye on Foster Care in Massachusetts


VOL 1.1 /// APR–MAY 2021

Emerging, Stronger.

From Executive Director Jane Lyons Welcome to Fostering Change, the freshly reimagined newsletter here at Friends of Children. The name Fostering Change succinctly captures the ...
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A Pivotal Moment for Child-Welfare Action

As a leading independent voice for young people involved in the child-welfare system in Massachusetts, Friends of Children serves as a unique and powerful agent ...
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Kathie Stewart and her husband Richard

Honoring the Memory of Kathie Stewart, Adored CASA Volunteer

When the perfectly coiffed CASA volunteer walked into the Friends of Children conference room, it lit up! Her smile, eagerness, and warmth made talking with ...
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CASA Changes Lives

This amazing story sheds light on the impact a CASA advocate and the right foster parent (now adoptive parent) can have on the life of ...
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We speak the truth on behalf of children, no matter how difficult it is to hear. 

We are champions of their best interests. We advocate for the rights and dignity of children in and aging-out of foster care. We recognize the whole child, and commit to changing the course of their lives. Their future and our community’s legacy depend on it.

COVID-19 has created a crisis within a crisis for our children and youth.


Our policy advocacy arm works with state officials, policy makers and other advocacy groups to improve the Commonwealth’s child welfare system.

Learn More About Our Current Policy Advocacy Initiatives →


Spring 2021 CASA Trainings

Friends of Children is always looking for volunteers and will be holding its next training in the spring.

This training is conducted for all volunteers who have completed the initial CASA screening process, including filling out an application.

If you are interested, please contact Debi Belkin, CASA Director.

Looking for support?

Our programs can help you or a child you know that is currently in foster care or aging out with basic needs like food and health care, or with educational and personal growth opportunities.

If you are having a mental health crisis or feeling like you are in an unsafe situation call 911 or refer to this list of toll free numbers made available through


Court Appointed Special Advocacy

Providing a voice for the best interests of children involved in abuse, neglect and other challenging cases in Franklin and Hampshire counties.


Meeting Basic Needs

Providing basic needs for children in – and aged-out of – the foster care system, such as clothing, school supplies, and money for extracurricular activities.


Youth Mentorship Program

Connecting transition-aged youth to resources and community members who help young people succeed and be independent. 


Arts & Media Expression

Inviting young people 16 and older to have their voices heard by sharing their experiences in foster care through artistic expression.

It takes a village!

We know this important work cannot be done without contributions from our entire community.

Just a simple donation of school supplies or clothing can go a long way to improving a young person's day.

Are you a compassionate listener? Or someone with valuable skills to pass along to young people? Children need reliable advocates and mentors to help them navigate challenges and develop the confidence to become independent.

Maybe you have experience in marketing, social media, photography, videography, or events coordination? So much goes on behind the scenes, and we may have a great fit for you!

Perhaps a financial gift is the best way for you to make an impact? We have multiple options to help you support our work.

Interested in volunteering?

From one-time to long-term volunteering, we have a volunteer opportunity that will be the right fit for you!

Donate to childen!

From one time to long-term volunteering, we have a volunteer opportunity that will be the right fit for you!