The Children's Union

Friends of Children’s policy advocacy arm

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

We work with state officials, providers, policy makers, citizens and other advocacy groups to promote policies and support efforts to improve the Commonwealth’s child welfare system. We strive for accountability, transparency and oversight, with a focus on what is in the best interests of the children and youth in the state’s care. Our goal is to help the system be the most effective at ensuring the best outcomes for children. This can’t happen without transparency and ongoing knowledge  about how the needs of children and youth are being served and met.

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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.

CALL TO ACTION

Attend a Public Hearing on October 29, 2019

The Foster Care Review Office bills filed by Sen. Comerford, Rep. Farley-Bouvier, and Rep. Vega will have a public hearing on October 29th, 2019 by the Joint Committee on Children and Families, and Persons with Disabilities.

This will be an opportunity for community members to present oral or written testimony about the creation of an independent foster care review office.  It is powerful for the legislature to hear from citizens who have experience with the system as former foster children/youth, foster parents, adoptive parents, biological parents or former DCF workers.

TAKE ACTION

Support this effort with your testimony

If you are interested in providing testimony please contact The Children's Union Director of Policy, June Ameen.

CURRENT INITIATIVE

Improving The Foster Care Review Process

Our current statewide initiative is to champion an independent and more effective foster care review process. An external and autonomous review system will provide objective oversight and input into individual child/youth permanency plans, require  outcome data and will collect, evaluate and disseminate information about the child welfare system.

The foster care review office bills filed by Senator Comerford, and Representatives Farley-Bouvier and Vega will have a public hearing on October 29th, 2019 by the Joint Committee on Children and Families and Persons with Disabilities. This will be an opportunity for community members to present oral or written testimony about the creation of an independent foster care review office.  It is powerful for the legislature to hear from citizens who have experience with the system as former foster children/youth, foster parents, adoptive parents, biological parents or former DCF workers.

If you are interested in providing testimony please contact June Ameen here.

We invite you to read what the Boston Globe had to say about this legislation about the current review process and how it creates a conflict of interest.

The Children’s Union is dedicated to ensuring the basic rights of all children and youth who have foster care experience to safety, permanency and lifelong well-being. It is impossible to speak the truth and take effective action without timely information and objective data. It is our hope that an independent foster care review entity and other efforts will lead to better information about the system as well as provide outcome data about the children and youth in the state’s care. We know that the child welfare system is not able to do its best work currently. But with clearer and more transparent information, it can have the tools to do its job well.

Proposed Legislation

  • House Bill H112

  • Senate Bill S29

We are proud to receive endorsements for our foster care review office legislation from these key statewide child advocacy organizations:

  • Massachusetts Law Reform Institute

  • Children’s League of Massachusetts

  • Committee for Public Counsel Services

  • Children’s Law Center of Massachusetts

Foster Children Advocacy

"My career in children’s services at DCF and at nonprofits inspired me to give voice to the challenges faced by children in the child welfare system. As an advocacy volunteer with The Children’s Union, I have connected with legislative policy makers, media, academics, child advocates and the community to bring about change.

Through creating more awareness, our team of knowledgeable and passionate volunteers ensure that the public is not kept in the dark. I’m grateful for the opportunity to contribute to the cause!"

– Denise K. Maguire


Denise’s career in children’s services in Massachusetts spans almost 40 years, including Area Director for Department of Social Services (now Department of Children and Families {DCF} ) and Executive Director of Cambridge Family and Children’s Services.  Denise is currently retired and serves as a volunteer reviewer with DCF’s Foster Care Review Unit. Denise is a former foster parent and has adopted a child from foster care.