Friends of Children, Inc. announces new leadership

Sarah Segura and Debi Belkin in front of a Friends of Children banner

NORTHAMPTON, MA – FEBRUARY 1, 2023 – Friends of Children, Inc. is excited to announce it has appointed new leadership at the organization beginning February 1.

Debi Belkin, MSW, LICSW and Sarah Segura, MSW, LCSW will be the new Co-Executive Directors of the non-profit organization that works to support children and young adults whose lives have been affected by the child welfare system. Belkin and Segura are both current employees of the organization.

“After a long search process and evaluation of the needs of Friends of Children, the Board is very excited to endorse this new leadership model. With the appointment of Debi and Sarah, we have the benefits of Debi’s extensive knowledge and professional experience coupled with Sarah’s new perspective, energy and commitment to serving our children and families,” said Jo-anne Vanin, President of the Board of Friends of Children, Inc.

Debi Belkin has over 40 years of experience advocating for court involved children and adolescents in Massachusetts including over 30 years as a supervisor at the Department of Children and Families. She has most recently been the Director of Programs at FOC.

Sarah Segura has been with FOC since 2021 sharing her experience in advocacy, case management, and program development as well as a passion for working with individuals and families of diverse cultural backgrounds. She has most recently been the CASA Program Manager at FOC. 

This new co-directorship comes after the organization’s founder, Jane Lyons, retired in July 2023. 

Friends of Children is fully dedicated to improving the lives of children and young adults impacted by foster care or juvenile-justice involvement.  Friends of Children was formed as a child advocate organization 501c(3) in 1990. From the beginning, their advocacy mission has defined the work of the agency as it addresses the needs of high risk children who are not readily supported by systems designed to protect them and encourage their full participation in society. For more information visit