Friends of Children fosters the dignity of children and young people in the child welfare system by persistently advocating for supports and services that promote their long-term well-being. Our vision is that every child and young person impacted by their involvement in the child welfare system has opportunities and access to resources that will increase resiliency and personal capacity and enhance lifelong well-being.
Friends of Children has three main programs to meet the needs of vulnerable children and young people. Our Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) program provides training and supervision for community volunteers to serve as best interest advocates for abused, neglected and other vulnerable children and youth involved in the Hampshire/Franklin Juvenile Court. Our FOCUS: Foster Futures program provides trained and supported volunteers in teams of three to match with one young person, 18-24, who has aged-out of the foster care system. This opportunity is, at this time, located in western Massachusetts. Our Children's Union addresses the needs of children in the child welfare system by advocating for statewide policies to improve their lives.
We do this by:
Encouraging civic engagement in all aspects of the organization
Informing the public and critical decision makers to promote needed change
Connecting children, young people and families to critical resources
Advocating for services when they are needed or denied
Facilitating collaboration and coordination
Developing innovative models to support children when service gaps exist
Conducting Research linked to best practices and public policy