Policy Advocacy

Children shouldn’t leave foster care in worse shape than when they entered.

For all citizens of Massachusetts, foster care represents OUR care—and we’re striving to make sure that foster care improves young lives. During FY2022 (July 1, 2021 – June 30, 2022) 13,045 unique children, youth, and young adults were in out-of-home care in Massachusetts (DCF Annual Report FY2022). We work with state officials, providers, policy makers, citizens, other advocacy groups, and young people themselves to promote policies and support efforts to improve the Commonwealth’s child-welfare system.

The current outcomes for children and young people in foster care in Massachusetts demand attention in light of years of DCF reforms with significant increases in state funding (see page 44 of DCF’s FY2022 Annual Report):

  • Massachusetts has one of the highest rates in the country of young people who leave foster care without a permanent family (Child Trends FY2019 & 2020). 

  • Massachusetts has one of the highest rates in the nation of foster-care placement instability (Child Trends FY2019 & 2020).

  • Massachusetts has one of the highest percentages in the nation of children in foster care for longer than five years (Child Trends FY2019 & 2020).

  • Massachusetts has one of the lowest percentages in the nation of children being adopted out of foster care by relatives (Child Trends FY2019 & 2020).

Newly Released

Ten Myths about Child Welfare Oversight in Massachusetts

Failing Our Kids

Measures of the Broken Child Welfare System in Massachusetts

As long-time, independent service providers and advocates for young people placed in the foster-care system, we are uniquely positioned to bring about positive change.

Through our policy advocacy initiatives, Friends of Children lives out its call for Truth, Action, and Change.


We articulate the need for oversight, accountability, and transparency in the child-welfare system in Massachusetts to identify the needs of vulnerable children and young people accurately and address those needs effectively.


We work tirelessly, as an individual organization and through thoughtful coalition-building, to further our policy initiatives on behalf of children and young people in the child-welfare system.


Change requires sustainable action. And policy change with swift operational implementation supports our vision: The vision of resilient and flourishing young people who have experienced the child-welfare system, woven into a fabric of meaningful connections and community life.

Current Initiatives

Oversight: Reforming Foster-Care Review Through Independence from the Department of Children and Families (DCF)


Make a Difference!

Join our network of volunteers and professionals working to pass important legislation to improve the lives of children and youth in the foster care system in Massachusetts.