Friends of Children, Inc., is an independent, non-profit child advocacy organization dedicated to improving the lives of children in W. Mass
"Don't give up on me."
"Ray" has been in foster care for more than three years and spoke these heartbreaking words just last week. He has been through so much.
His biological parents were both incarcerated for issues related to substance abuse and his mother's whereabouts are unknown. He does not see her, and given the fact that Ray is now disclosing previous abuse by his father, he shouldn't see him either. He has terrible nightmares after each visit.
There have been three disputed, pre-adoptive placement for Ray, and he finally feels safe, but he still faces many challenges, even though he is currently free for adoption, and his foster family wants him forever. He must continue visits with his biological father, for instance, for legal reasons, and he is not permitted to switch therapists, to one trained in treating children with truamatic histories.
The good news is that Friends of Children is now advocating on Ray's behalf. We are listening to him.
When they knew they needed help Ray's foster parents didn't know where to turn. But they did remember Friends of Children, having relied on our resources in the past to support another child they are adopting. They have partnered again with us to make sure Ray's needs are appropriately met and that his voice gets heard above others. As they asked us when they came to us, "Who is listening to him?"
Friends of Children listens every day. And we act. It's hard to believe that children must experience the kind of dysfunction that Ray has seen. It doesn't make sense. But these situations are not uncommon. Friends of Children exisits in hopes of making them less prevalent, to speak the truth about vulnerable children and join with others in meeting their needs and to act as a child advocacy leader.
We do this in many ways through many collaborations. We are grateful to serve a region where adults care about children and understand the importance of wrapping their arms around those who need protection. In our thankfulness, we ask that you consider supporting our work.
Please help us ensure that there are committed adults who raise hope for children like Ray and help them feel safety and comfort.
It shouldn’t be so hard to be a child. But everyday, there are children who hurt…whether they’ve been abused, neglected or abandoned. Friends of Children stands beside a child in need, working to make sure that children find their place in the community. We respect children, working to protect, anchor and nurture them.
Our shared vision is that all children, especially those most vulnerable, have the opportunity to reach their fullest potential. We share a deep belief that they have the right to a safe, consistent and nurturing home and access to essential services and educational opportunities to allow them to succeed.
Since opening our doors, Friends of Children has served 10,000+ children and youth who have special needs, many of whom were made vulnerable by truamas most of us don't want to discuss. Friends of Children exists to speak the truth about vulnerable children, to join with others to meet needs, and act as a child advocacy leader. We are committed adults who raise hope for them and help them see their own strength! Their future and our community's legacy depends on it.