CASA Staff Changes Press Release

Hadley MA – Friends of Children, the independent child advocacy organization, announced today the hiring two new staff following the retirement of long-time CASA Director, Randee Laikind. Laikind, the program’s first CASA Director, began her work in 1993. To honor her, Friends of Children’s Board of Directors has established the Randee Laikind Children’s Fund. More … More CASA Staff Changes Press Release

In Massachusetts, Foster Care Reform Clock Ticks Louder and Louder

The clock was ticking long before the 2014 death of five-year-old Jeremiah Oliver from Fitchburg, Mass.

It began in 2010 when a nonprofit litigation firm filed a class action lawsuit aimed at reforming the Massachusetts foster care system. It continued ticking in 2013 when a federal judge ruled in favor of the Commonwealth but tasked all of us, as a community, for our role in a devastated and dangerous foster care system. … More In Massachusetts, Foster Care Reform Clock Ticks Louder and Louder

Shame On U.S., A Look at The Child Welfare Crisis

Shame on U.S., a report by the Children’s Advocacy Institute (CAI) of the University of San Diego School of Law, in collaboration with First Star, was released this month that is highly critical of all three branches of the federal government for not diligently protecting the rights of some of America’s most vulnerable children….abused and … More Shame On U.S., A Look at The Child Welfare Crisis

Make Family Matter Most

What’s mattered most to you in your life? Really mattered. Take a moment to think about it. When I answer the question, the first thing that comes to mind is family. As I’ve aged, my concept of family has morphed, and I have widened my definition to include my family by birth and the family … More Make Family Matter Most

This CASA Works to Gain Trust

One aspect of being a CASA that is rarely publicized is the camaraderie and sense of community that is formed between the volunteers and how rewarding it can be to know that you’re part of a team of people who are working to make the lives of children better. At Friends of Children, we are all part of the same mission, and we are truly grateful for the commitment and enthusiasm of our volunteers, who keep CASA at the forefront of child advocacy in the Franklin/Hampshire Counties. … More This CASA Works to Gain Trust

CASA Advocacy in Action

When considering the full measure of a person, we can sometimes be fortunate enough to find someone who truly inspires us. For Friends of Children, that person is Jo-Anne Vanin. Ten years ago, Jo-Anne became connected with Friends of Children through her search for community volunteering opportunities. And boy, did we luck out! At that … More CASA Advocacy in Action