From Executive Director Jane Lyons

Dear Friends,
As we come to the close of our fiscal year here at Friends of Children, I am so fortunate to look back at this past year and reflect on the incredible work our team has done, the hundreds of children we have directly and indirectly impacted, and the community support we have felt as we work in the best interests of children and young people in the child welfare system. We truly can’t do any of this without you. 

Your support is critical to our mission, and we need your help to keep up with the need in our community. 



  • 68 children and young people for whom we effectively advocate through CASA.
  • 71 volunteers improving the well-being of children in the child welfare system.
  • providing nearly $30,000 in material necessities and financial support to young people who have aged out of the foster care system through Foster Dignity.
  • our first class of FOCUS: Foster Futures volunteer teams entering training.
  • successful policy advocacy and statewide education work of The Children’s Union around the need to reform the Massachusetts Foster Care Review system.
  • hundreds of donors, foundations and businesses that supported our work this year.

But as long as the state child welfare system is unable to put the needs of children in its care first, our work is not finished. Held up by your support, we move forward, helping in every way we can to support one child, or one thousand. We ask you to continue that vital support by making a gift today so we can strongly finish this year and set about accomplishing next year’s to-do list! 


  • Ensure that every child and youth who needs a CASA volunteer in Franklin & Hampshire Counties has one. 
  • Expand the Children’s Union coalition to press state decision makers to work in the best interest of children in the state’s protective care through measures of accountability, transparency and oversight.
  • Grow, strengthen and evolve the new FOCUS Initiative, create personal teams for 15 young people who have aged out of foster care, and prepare to bring FOCUS to other communities.

I want to share with you real stories of the kids we work with and for, the ones our work is all about. Below are notes from some meetings I had recently with or about a few of the kids and families that come through our doors. Please, read their stories. If they move you as they inspire us, donate to Friends of Children so we can increase our support of these young people and help so many more.

There are too many children who still need us. Our work is never done. 

With deep gratitude,

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