So much has changed this year. At Friends of Children, we believe that deep and meaningful ties in our communities are vital to our work and health. We want to get to know our neighbors better– to get to know YOU. We are launching a series of meet and greets over morning coffee and treats. Each conversation will feature the work and impact of one of our program areas, and provide an opportunity to talk together about how to make our community a better place for children and young people involved in the child welfare system, and for ourselves.
All events held at Friends of Children office, 245 Russell St, Suite 22, Hadley, MA.
There is no cost to attend, but you must RSVP below. Coffee and treats are on us!
Scroll down for more information and full schedule.
Wednesday, March 21, 2018 8-9:30 am
COURT APPOINTED SPECIAL ADVOCATES (CASA)
Join volunteer CASAs and members of the legal community to learn more about our chapter of this national program from many perspectives. We’ll discuss the successes and challenges in being the voice of the voiceless, and how to get involved.
Facilitated by Debi Belkin, Director of CASA in Franklin and Hampshire Counties
Wednesday, April 11, 2018 8-9:30 am
SEEING OUR VOICES
Join youth participants and program facilitators to learn more about Seeing Our Voices, a skill-building and awareness-raising multimedia experience for young people in the foster care system. We’ll screen short videos, hear recorded stories and view photos and testimonials from the participants of the last few iterations of this program. We’ll think together about ways to bring these important stories to a wider audience to raise awareness about the real and diverse experiences of the foster care system.
Facilitated by Jane Lyons, Executive Director
Wednesday, May 2, 2018 8-9:30 am
FOCUS: Foster Futures
Join us to discover this unique initiative we launched just this year: an impactful way to encircle young people aging out of foster care with the caring support and friendship of adults in their community. We’ll discuss how this project came to be, what it can do, and how, with a surprisingly manageable time commitment, you can make a real and enormous difference in the life of young people in our area facing every setback.
Facilitated by Sheila Ryan, FOCUS Team Coordinator, and Dr. Jennifer Propp, Board of Directors
Wednesday, May 23, 2018 8-9:30 am
Join members of the statewide Children’s Union and local legislators to discuss current issues in foster care reform in the Commonwealth. We’ll have a deep conversation about the systemic change desperately required in our broken child welfare system in Massachusetts, and some of the efforts underway to chip away at the critical goal of re-envisioning and reforming this system.
Facilitated by June Ameen and Jane Lyons, Executive Director
Wednesday, June 13, 8-9:30 am
FRIENDS OF CHILDREN
Join our staff and board to capstone this springtime series with a conversation about about Friends of Children’s approach, values, and programs. We’ll discuss our mission in the context of today’s political realities, and explore how Friends of Children can continue to grow to meet contemporary challenges and opportunities head on, including how our Foster Dignity program–which provides new school supplies, winter coats, and extra-curricular experiences to kids impacted by the foster care system– can evolve to meet the needs of the children and young people in our community.
Facilitated by Friends of Children staff and Board of Directors