Cambridge Family & Children's Service
60 Gore Street
Cambridge, MA 02141
The agency’s mission is to identify and implement ways to strengthen family and individual self-sufficiency and promote conditions that provide all children and youth with stable homes and positive community environments. We often describe our mission as simply to serve children and strengthen families.
Core Values and Beliefs
Our vision is a world that works for all children, regardless of their circumstances. We believe that all children deserve to live and grow within a family—preferably the one they were born into, and when that is not possible, in a loving family that will commit to being a permanent life-long resource for them. We value families’ strengths and work to help them identify and articulate what is best for their children. We honor the extraordinary generosity of families that open their homes and hearts to foster or adopt children with nowhere else to turn. We believe further that healthy competent families who put their children’s care and protection above all else, do so within the context of their communities, and we work towards strong healthy communities that have the will and the resources to embrace and support families and their children—and keep them safe.
How We Work
To fulfill on its mission CFCS provides specialized services and programs responsive to the most pressing needs of children, youth and families, working in close collaboration with other community partners to achieve the best outcomes. CFCS is an advocate for children, youth and families, and works to assure that each individual has access to the resources and services they need to become independent and productive members of the community. The effectiveness of our work depends entirely upon the contributions of a vibrant network of dedicated staff, foster parents, adoptive parents, student interns, mentors and volunteers who drive our programs and deliver our services.
Many of CFCS’ specialized services are provided in partnership with the Massachusetts Department of Children and Families (DCF) and the Massachusetts Department of Developmental Services (DDS). DCF and DDS depend upon community agencies such as CFCS to provide services for families and children in their care. CFCS’ programs and services include:
Adoption Services – recruiting, training and preparing individuals and couples to parent children in DCF foster care waiting for adoption; and assessing, matching and placing children referred by DCF into permanent adoptive homes—children who are likely to be older, children of color or to be waiting to be placed with a sibling.
Developmental Disabilities Services – providing respite and other flexible family support services to families caring for a child or adult with disabilities, as well as intensive skill training, behavioral consultation and advocacy for the families of school age children with multiple special needs and who are at risk of being placed in residential care outside the home.
Intensive Foster Care – providing time-limited therapeutic foster care for children coming from hospitalization or residential treatment to support their successful transition to their permanent plan—return to their birth family, guardianship, kinship care, adoption or a less formal but equally committed connection to an adult who will help the foster youth prepare to move into responsible, independent and self-sufficient young adulthood.
Residential Services – offering transitional housing in group homes as well as supervised apartments, and educational advocacy and career preparation for older adolescents moving on to independent living after many years in DCF care.
Volunteer Mentoring Programs – recruiting, training and pairing volunteer mentors with recently homeless families, pregnant and parenting teens, foster children and at-risk school-age children and their families for guidance and support.
Family Support and Stabilization – offering a variety of short-term, intensive, in-home services and supports aimed at providing wrap-around planning and support for children returning from, or at risk of, referral to DCF’ out-of-home placements, as well as families of young children with a first-time report to DCF for alleged abuse or neglect.
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