Massachusetts Citizens for Children, Inc.

It's only fair that each child be cherished

aka MassKids/Doing Business As   |   Boston, MA   |


The mission of Massachusetts Citizens for Children - "MassKids" is to advocate on behalf of our state's most vulnerable children. It is committed to preventing child abuse in all its forms. MassKids was formed in 1959 by pediatrician Martha May Eliot and Gov. Foster Furcolo to provide a vehicle through which citizens could learn about critical issues facing children and work to improve the lives. Throughout its history MassKids' hallmark has been its willingness to tackle the tough and complex issues affecting children and youth. From its work in the 70s on teen depression and suicide, its program in the 80s to prevent HIV among homeless and runaway youth, to its recent work to establish benchmarks to reduce child poverty, prevent infant death and disability from Shaken Baby Syndrome and prevent child sexual abuse, MassKids has been a recognized leader and effective advocate for the children in our communities and state. Since 1986, we have been the Massachusetts State Chapter of Prevent Child Abuse America. We are a member of the National Coalition to Prevent Child Sexual Abuse and Exploitation and serve on its Policy Committee.

Our websites and, serve as key resources to thousands of citizens annually. For example, in the past 12 months alone, our Enough Abuse Campaign site has generated over 4 million hits. We are the source the media turns to when they want an independent view of issues and event facing our children. We employ numerous strategies to achieve our goals including: building coalitions at the state and community levels, educating parents and other concerned adults, training professionals, changing policies within organizations that serve children and youth, and advocating for public policies that support the prevention of child abuse.
We are serious advocates with a focus on tangible results. Measure us by our achievements and not our size. We are a no-frills organization that makes every donated dollar count. We are passionate about ensuring the right of every child to a safe, stable and healthy childhood. As our logo states: "It's only fair that each child be cherished."

Notes from the nonprofit

Ms. Foundation has declared that “ ending child sexual abuse is one of the most urgent issues of our times” yet identify a major obstacle to preventing it: “...sadly, there is a chronic under-resourcing of and resistance to the issue.” Despite these fiscal challenges, we continues to be leader in MA and the nation in building the movement to end child sexual abuse. Past investments in MassKids have resulted in tangible results. Now more investments must be made to help us reach our goals faster and for more children. Ms. Foundation also concluded: “This is a different time than ever before. We’ve never had this much knowledge, substance or possibility.” MassKids exemplifies that possibility and seeks to engage with funders who embrace ambitious goals, understand that scaling programs to benefit more communities and states is a solid investment, and that changing systems and social norms is possible and needed to protect children from sexual abuse where they live, learn and play.

Ruling year info


Executive Director

Ms. Jetta Marie Bernier MA

Main address

112 Water St #502

Boston, MA 02109 USA

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NTEE code info

Protection Against and Prevention of Neglect, Abuse, Exploitation (I70)

Child Abuse, Prevention of (I72)

Sexual Abuse, Prevention of (I73)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Programs and results

What we aim to solve

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Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

The Enough Abuse Campaign

The Enough Abuse Campaign is a comprehensive community engagement and citizen education initiative led by MassKids since 2002. It works at the state and community levels to prevent persons from sexually abusing children today, and children and youth from developing sexually abusive behaviors in the future.

Evaluation data have confirmed the Campaign's effectiveness in organizing and coordinating multidisciplinary public/private partnerships at the state and community levels; developing quality prevention and education tools and materials; conducting highly rated trainings for parents, professionals and other adults; building the capacity of youth-serving agencies to better protect the children in their care; and leading successful legislative efforts to reform sex abuse laws. The Enough Abuse Campaign was selected by the Office on Child Abuse and Neglect (OCAN) at the Children's Bureau as one of twelve exemplary projects in the country working to prevent child maltreatment.

Population(s) Served

Pledge to Prevent™ is a unique online campaign for action developed by MassKids and its Enough Abuse Campaign, a citizen education/community mobilization campaign working in several states to prevent child sexual abuse. Working in collaboration with several national organizations, the goal of Pledge to Prevent™ is to empower hundreds of thousands of individuals across the country to get educated about child sexual abuse and to take concrete, practical actions to prevent it.
Each visitor to the site is encouraged to be a Champion for Children and to “Show Your Hand. Take a Stand” by uploading a photo of themselves with raised hand declaring “Enough!” The photo is immediately posted on the site’s Photo Gallery along with the pledger’s own 2-word description, e.g. “I am a father and a mailman,” “I am a teacher and a survivor,” “I am a mother and a nurse,” etc.
Partnering with parents, sexual abuse survivors, college students, etc., the campaign is challenging people everywhere to choose one of over 30 pledges as either a Learner to get the basic facts, a Prevention Influencer to educate others, a Safe Community Promoter to engage schools and youth organizations, or a Movement Builder to promote prevention legislation and policies.

Pledgers immediately receive resources matched to their specific pledge in order to build their knowledge and confidence, and empower them to carry out their selected prevention action. Over 30 booklets, videos, posters, reports, etc. are included in the pool of resources. Pledgers can experience the reach of the campaign through a real-time Pledge Count and a U.S. Map documenting activity in each state and the campaign’s growing movement across the country.

Everyone can take the Pledge – family members, everyday citizens, survivors, students, child and family-serving professionals, town or city leaders, school employees, youth organization staff, governors, legislators, district attorneys, police, child welfare workers, church members, as well as local or national sports, media and entertainment celebrities.
Anyone can become a Pledge Ambassadors by promoting Pledge to Prevent™ with all their social media contacts and by setting a target number of pledges for their community. The Pledge gives everyone a way to join the movement to prevent child sexual abuse – to stop the hurt before it starts.
For more information, contact [email protected]

Population(s) Served

Where we work


Heroes Among Us Award 2002

Boston Celtics Organization

Affiliations & memberships

National Coalition to Prevent Child Sexual Abuse and Exploitation 2021

# of communities and states that have adopted our comprehensive child sexual abuse prevention strategies and programs. # of schools and youth organizations that have adopted our trainings and policies

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Adults, Parents, Adolescents, Children, Families

Related Program

The Enough Abuse Campaign

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success


Context Notes

Numbers include: # of Enough Abuse communities & states, # of in-person/online trainings/webinars; # of schools and YSOs that have adopted our online trainings; # of Pledge to Prevent citizen pledges

Our Sustainable Development Goals

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn more about Sustainable Development Goals.

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

Goal: Prevent adults from sexually abusing children now and prevent children from developing sexually abusive behaviors in the future.

Goal: Provide evidence-based trainings and expert technical assistance to schools and youth-serving organizations to prevent child sexual abuse and strengthen their prevention policies and practices.

Goal: Expand the Enough Abuse Campaign to more Massachusetts communities and to additional states. (Currently, Massachusetts, New York, New Jersey, Maryland, Nevada, South Dakota, North Dakota, and some counties in California and Maine have adopted Enough Abuse and its strategies and prevention tools. Advocates in Sierra Leone and Nigeria have also adopted the Campaign.)

Goal: Reduce infant deaths and disabilities from Shaken Baby Syndrome/Abusive Head trauma - a preventable form of physical child abuse.

MassKids affects lasting social change for children through its tested advocacy strategies including:
 Building issue-specific coalitions to create social and systems changes
 Developing and disseminating policy and data reports on pressing children's issues
 Implementing research pilots and demonstrations and moving them to scale
 Convening policy conferences to educate and train professionals
 Developing prevention products to educate parents and the public
 Educating the citizenry through public awareness campaigns.
 Mobilizing citizen action on legislative/policy issues
 Filing legal actions and amicus curiae briefs to the court.
 Promoting data-informed views on children’s issues through TV, radio and social media.

MassKids and the Campaign successfully implement activities in each of these domains. The synergy of these activities contributes to changes in social norms since activities are focused not only on the individual but also on their environments. These norm changes are critical if we are to prevent sexual abuse in our homes, communities and culture.

A consistent focus of MassKids throughout its history has been to prevent child maltreatment in all its forms, hence our work to prevent infant deaths and disabilities from Shaken Baby Syndrome/Abuse Head Trauma - a preventable form of physical abuse; our work to prevent medical neglect of children by parents in faith-healing sects; our 80s class action suit on behalf of abused and neglected children in state care; and our long-standing work to prevent child sexual abuse and its devastating consequences.

MassKids is led by a 21-member Citizens Board made up of leaders in public health, child protection, legal advocacy, finance, and business. To support the voices of survivors of sexual abuse, either in their own childhoods or in the lives of their own children, one-third of our Board includes these authentic voices. Past MassKids Presidents have included: Katharine Kane, former Deputy Mayor of Boston; Charles Welch, MD, former president of the Massachusetts Medical Society; Eli Newberger, MD, a nationally recognized Children's Hospital pediatrician and child advocate; Augusta Haydock , a former Senior Vice President at Bank of America; and Carmen Durso, a prominent lawyer who has represented hundreds of child sexual abuse survivors.

MassKids’ executive director is a nationally recognized leader with over 30 years of experience in child abuse prevention, community organizing, program planning, grant writing, technical assistance, training, and media relations. She is frequently sought by the media to provide an expert and unbiased view of a range of issues affecting Massachusetts children and their families. She currently serves as Co-Chair of Policy for the National Coalition to Prevent Child Sexual Abuse and Exploitation and is a past Board member of Prevent Child Abuse America and Voices for America's Children, the latter which recognized her with it national award for leadership and effective advocacy on behalf of children. Among other local recognitions have included the Boston Celtics "Heroes Among Us" Award for "exceptional and lasting contributions" to our state, and the Massachusetts Dental Society's Allard Award in recognition of her leadership to prevent child abuse in the Commonwealth.

MassKids uses multiple and ongoing strategies to evaluate its progress in community organizing, and training and technical assistance efforts to prevent child sexual abuse.
A CDC-sponsored evaluation of the Enough Abuse Campaign was conducted during the first five years and results were reported in an article in the peer-reviewed Journal of Child Sexual Abuse (Daniel Schober, Stephen Fawcett and Jetta Bernier (2012), "The Enough Abuse Campaign: Building the Movement to Prevent Child Sexual Abuse in Massachusetts" 21:4, 456-469.) Here are two quotes from the article about the Campaign's impact:
"One key indicator of success that has improved in Massachusetts is substantiated reports of child sexual abuse. Massachusetts saw a 66% decline in these substantiated reports from 1992 to 2007... Jones and Finkelhor (2007) speculate that these declines are due to a variety of factors, including economic, law enforcement, and public awareness. The Enough Abuse Campaign's contribution to educating community residents and successful legal advocacy likely contributed to this increased public awareness and possibly to preventive action."

Here is another statement which shows that the Campaign contributed to an increase in adult responsibility for preventing child sexual abuse - a key protective factor: "Child maltreatment experts have identified the need for more prevention work at the community and society levels, including the involvement of professionals, parents and the entire community in taking responsibility for preventing child sexual abuse. Results from two independent statewide assessments conducted in 2003 and 2007 confirmed a 23% increase - from 69% to 93% - in the number of Massachusetts adults who believe that adults rather than children should take prime responsibility for preventing child sexual abuse. This increase suggests improvement in a key protective factor (adult responsibility) related to the prevention of child sexual abuse."

Surveys to evaluate the Campaign's 2-day intensive Training of Trainers routinely rated it around a 4.8 on a 5 point excellence scale. Subsequent presentations and workshops delivered by certified Campaign trainers are also required to be evaluated by attendees and these evaluations are reviewed by the trainers and the local Partnership to ensure consistent high quality.

"Enough! Preventing Sexual Abuse in My School," the most comprehensive online training course available in the U.S., was developed by MassKids exclusively for school personnel. It has been adopted in over 120 schools and in six sates to date and endorsed by the U.S. Department of Justice as a promising crime prevention program. Research conducted by Simmons University and findings published in the peer-reviewed Journal on Child Sexual Abuse confirm impressive gains in knowledge and prevention skills.

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

    To identify bright spots and enhance positive service experiences, To inform the development of new programs/projects, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve

  • Which of the following feedback practices does your organization routinely carry out?

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    It is difficult to find the ongoing funding to support feedback collection


Massachusetts Citizens for Children, Inc.

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Massachusetts Citizens for Children, Inc.

Board of directors
as of 01/14/2024
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Mr. Jonathan Ellman

Divisional General Counsel, North America, Worldpay (Ret.)

Term: 2024 - 2023

Carmen Durso

Law Offices of Carmen Durso

Laura Gold

Gold Advocacy

Chelsea Cullerot

Corporate Accounting Manager, Teikametrics

Beth McArdle

Managing Associate, Carney, Sandoe & Associates

Frank Riccio

Offices of Frank Riccio, P.C.

Kathryn Robb

Executive Director, Child USAdvocacy

Laura Siracusa

Cabot Corporation (ret.)

Lou Zicht

Gilman, McLaughlin & Hanrahan

Karla Valentin

Vertex Pharmaceuticals

Soraia Fonseca

Registered Nurse, Emergency Department, Charlton Memorial Hospital

Augusta Haydock

Sr. Vice-President, Sr. Relationship Manager; Philanthropic Solutions U.S. Trust Bank of America Private Wealth (Ret.)

Brittany Kelley

Partner, Grant Thornton LLP

Kathryn Robb

Executive Director, CHILDUSAdvocacy

Trish Kendall

Founder/CEO, Enduring Success Strategies

Erin Egan

Health and Wellness Coordinator, BART Charter Public School

Alan Boyer

Accounting Management Solutions (ret.)

Melanie McLaughlin

Producer/Director, Project Productions, LLC

Tricia Wells

Private Practice Therapist

Erin Lee Spencer

School Social Worker

Jacob Wilner

Private Equity Associate, Calera Capital, L.P

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 2/6/2022

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? Candid partnered with CHANGE Philanthropy on this demographic section.


The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
Gender identity
Female, Not transgender
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or Straight
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

No data

Gender identity

No data

Transgender Identity

No data

Sexual orientation

No data


No data