Children's Trust, Inc.

aka Children's Trust, Inc.   |   Boston, MA   |


The Children’s Trust is on a mission to stop child abuse in Massachusetts. Our programs partner with parents to help them build the skills and confidence they need to make sure kids have safe and healthy childhoods.Our on-the-ground work is accomplished through a network of over one hundred of the state’s most innovative local community organizations, providing high-quality services to help families thrive and keep children safe.When children grow up safe and healthy in strong families, it changes the course of their lives.

Ruling year info


Executive Director

Ms. Suzin Bartley

Deputy Director of Operations

Ms. Robin Boorstein

Main address

55 Court Street, 4th Floor

Boston, MA 02108 USA

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Formerly known as

Friends of Children's Trust Fund, Inc.



NTEE code info

Family Services (P40)

Parent Teacher Group (B94)

dren's Rights (Rhi)

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

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Each year, about 135,000 children are reported as abused or neglected in Massachusetts. While we spend over $1 billion in state funds each year, our service systems are overwhelmed; less than 1/3 of reported maltreatment cases receive new support or services. And at the same time, there are many more families with similar challenges that go unreported. Science clearly shows that when adverse childhood experiences occur – such as ongoing neglect by parents; physical, sexual, or emotional abuse; or/and adult caregiver with substance abuse or mental health challenges – they have a devastating impact on a child's emotional and physical well-being for their entire lifetime. Preventing families from reaching crisis mode and strengthening family functioning is the solution to stop abuse and stem the tide of children needing protection.

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?

Parenting Education and Support Groups

We partner with organizations across Massachusetts to educate and support parents in the context of small group settings. At these groups, we bring families together to: increase parents’ care giving skills; offer tips on parenting; and strengthen each family’s community support network.

Population(s) Served
People with disabilities

The Fatherhood Initiative supports fathers, their families, and the professionals who work with them. The Fatherhood Initiative includes two main components:·  The Fathers & Family Network is a networking and traininggroup for professionals who work with fathers. The network supports and provides training opportunities to practitioners to enhance their skills, learn new strategies for engaging gathers, and coordinate services across the state.·  The Nurturing Fathers Program is a 13-week strength-basedparenting group that helps fathers build and strengthen positive parenting attitudes and behaviors. Topics include self-nurturing, fathering with our violence, positive discipline, and co-parenting teamwork skills.

Population(s) Served

Healthy Families is a home-based family support and coaching program that supports young, first-time parents and helps them create stable, nurturing environments for their children.The program matches parents with trained professionals who visit families’ homes to provide support during pregnancy and the child’s first three years of life. Home visitors teach parents about proper baby care, promote nurturing and attachment, practice effective parenting skills, and ensure parents have a solid understanding of healthy child development. They also counsel parents on achieving personal goals such as going back to school or securing a job.Healthy Families is predominantly a state funded program. The Friends of the Children’s Trust raised $90,000 in the past year for additional services that would not be possible without its support, including a new program component “Moving Beyond Depression” for young mothers who have experienced bouts of depression following the birth of their child.

Population(s) Served

Family Centers are where parents and children go to meet other families, tap into community resources, learn new parenting skills, and participate in activities and support programs. Programs are open to all families with young children within the community and may include parent-child activities, playgroups, social events, and drop-in hours.Centers partner with parents and kids to help them navigate and strengthen family relationships so that the whole family thrives.The Children’s Trust supports eight Family Centers statewide that offer programs to families in nearly 40 communities.

Population(s) Served

Where we work

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.

The Children’s Trust leads efforts to prevent child abuse and neglect in Massachusetts by supporting parents and strengthening families.

The Children’s Trust develops, evaluates, and promotes parenting education and coaching programs to improve the lives of children. We also create and influence public policies, improve family service systems, and strengthen communities. We are a private-public organization. This means that additional funds raised by the Friends of the Children's Trust have a greater impact on accomplishing our mission. Much of our administrative costs are paid for with funding from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. We leverage that money with federal funding and private donations. In fiscal year 2014, this resulted in 88.5 percent of our total budget going directly into services that benefit families and children.   Our work focuses on building Protective Factors that support the overall well-being of children and their families. Developed by the Center for the Study of Social Policy, the Protective Factors framework is a research-driven approach that identifies key conditions that must be in place to support the optimal well-being of children and families. All our programs work to help parents build and strengthen these factors. Protective Factors serve as buffers that help families cope, achieve, and thrive, even during times of stress. They are the cornerstones upon which to build healthy environments for children and families. The Protective Factors are: Parental resilience - developing the ability to cope and bounce back from life’s challenges; knowledge of parenting and child development - receiving accurate information about raising young children, and learning appropriate and effective strategies to gauge expectations and set limits on child behaviors; Social connections - engaging friends, family members, neighbors, and others in the community who may provide emotional support and assistance; Concrete support in times of need - accessing life essentials such as food, clothing, and housing when there is an immediate need; Social and emotional development of children - fostering a child’s ability to interact positively with others and communicate his or her emotions appropriately.

Through over twenty-five years of practice and valuation, we’ve learned how to partner effectively with parents to help them get the skills, tools, and confidence they need to be the best parents they can be. The Children’s Trust does this through deep, long-lasting partnerships with over one hundred of the most effective family support agencies across Massachusetts. We work hand-in-hand with our partners to provide high-quality services that help children and families thrive through: research, including program review and evaluation; sharing proven best-practices; training; and advocacy for family support services statewide. Our programs include: Healthy Families Massachusetts - a home-based family support and coaching program that works with young, first-time parents and helps them create safe, stimulating environments for their children; Massachusetts Family Centers - centers where parents and children go to meet other families, tap into community resources, learn new  parenting skills, and participate in activities and support programs; Parenting Education and Support Programs - group-based programs that help parents enhance the knowledge, skills, and confidence they need to be the best parents they can be; The Fatherhood Initiative - a program that works to advance activities and trainings that support fathers, their families, and the professionals who work with them; One Tough Job - our award-winning parenting website,, gives parents immediate access to current, reliable, and practical information about parenting and child development; Family Support Training Center - a robust offering of a variety of learning opportunities to help family support professionals across Massachusetts stay on the cutting edge of the field

The Children’s Trust has been the Commonwealth’s catalyst for building strong families and preventing child abuse and neglect for over 25 years. We set the state’s highest standards for family support. We ensure our programs create nurturing and supportive families and communities where children can thrive through rigorous research. Some examples of our recent accomplishments include the following: Research by Tufts University showed a high rate of depression among young mothers in Healthy Families Massachusetts. We responded by introducing “Moving Beyond Depression,” a proven treatment and component of our home-based family support and coaching program. The Tufts evaluation has also shown: (1) Children in Healthy Families Massachusetts, on average, were developmentally on-target despite national research that shows children of teen parents are at greater risk for developmental delays. (2) Mothers in Healthy Families Massachusetts showed more positive effects that are important for young parents - reducing impulsive, antisocial, or risky behaviors - than mothers not receiving services. (3) Mothers in the program reported less parenting stress. Increased stress is a risk factor for abuse and neglect. (4) Also, the evaluation showed young mothers in Healthy Families Massachusetts are doing better in school. They’re more likely to re-enroll in high school and get their diplomas. In fact, two years after enrollment in the program, these mothers were nearly twice more likely to have completed one year of college than mothers not in the program. (5) Better education can result in better jobs and less poverty among these families. When parents are less stressed about money, they can create nurturing and loving environments where their children grow up healthy and ready to succeed. Among our Massachusetts Family Centers, surveys have shown that nearly all parents said the program helped them cope better with parenting challenges. In our Parenting Education and Support Programs, nearly all parents indicated they learned new parenting skills and about new resources in their communities to benefit their families. For more information about the Children’s Trust’s many accomplishments and programs, please see our annual report and visit

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 collecting feedback from the people you serve?

    Electronic surveys (by email, tablet, etc.), Paper surveys, Focus groups or interviews (by phone or in person), Case management notes, Constituent (client or resident, etc.) advisory committees, Suggestion box/email,

  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

    To identify and remedy poor client service experiences, To identify bright spots and enhance positive service experiences, To make fundamental changes to our programs and/or operations, To inform the development of new programs/projects, To identify where we are less inclusive or equitable across demographic groups, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve,

  • With whom is the organization sharing feedback?

    The people we serve, Our staff, Our board, Our funders, Our community partners,

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?


Children's Trust, Inc.

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The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.


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  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

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Children's Trust, Inc.

Board of directors
as of 12/2/2020
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board co-chair

Mr. Ryan Hutchins


Term: 2017 - 2020

Board co-chair

Mr. George Atanasov

Johnson & Johnson

Term: 2017 - 2020

Roger Donoghue

Murphy Donoghue Partners

Edward Bailey

Medical Director, North Shore Children's Hospital

Sidney Boorstein

No Affiliation

Betsy Busch

Tufts University School of Medicine

Patrick Cahn

No Affiliation

Claudine Donikian

Pentera, Inc.

Herby Duverne

Taino Consulting Group

Richard Lord

Associate Industries of Massachusetts

Samuel Mullin

Robinson & Cole

Anne Berman

Chadwick Martin Bailey

Hector Lopez-Camacho

State Street Corporation

William Solfisburg

Alliance Resource Group

Peg Sprague


David Sullivan

Northwestern DA's Office

Jane Tewksbury

Brazelton Touchpoints Center

Tom Weber

MA Dept. of Early Education & Care

Peter Forbes

MA Dept. of Youth Services

Robert Sege

The Medical Foundation, and Health Resources in Action, Inc.

Jay Ash

Executive Office of Housing & Economic Development

Richard Bendetson

Diversified Funding Inc.

Monica Bharel

MA Department of Public Health

David Breazzano

DDJ Capital Management, LLC

Richard Feilteau

Gray, Gray & Gray LLP

Jeff Grosser

Rodman Insurance Agency, Inc.

Jeff McCue

MA Department of Transitional Assistance

Lisa McElaney


Joan Mikula

MA Department of Mental Health

Maria Mossaides

Child Advocate, MA Office of the Child Advocate

James Rooney

Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce

Linda Spears

MA Department of Children & Families

Marylou Sudders

MA Executive Office of Health and Human Services

Thomas Tinlin

Howard Stein Hudson

Jeff Wulfson

MA Department of Elementary & Secondary Education

Kerry Maguire

ForsythKids, The Forsyth Institute

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? No
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? No
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? No
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? No
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? No