Commissioner McClain and the Department of Children and Families are proud to highlight successful youth and families.

Foster/Adoptive Family All-Stars

Nerida D.


Foster Mother Nerida D.
Since 2001, Nerida D. has cared for 15 girls from school age to those who are teens. At first, Nerida observes each child, not asking a lot, but letting the child become comfortable with her. Then, when she has 'figured the child out' she becomes a strong advocate in meeting her needs.

Nerida's experience as a bilingual instructor/teacher's aide has given her a deep knowledge of children's educational needs. School officials are always relating how impressive she is as a foster parent and child advocate.

Two years ago, she worked with a young girl, age five, who had experienced two failed adoption attempts and a foster placement. When a home experienced in dealing with the child's issues was identified, Nerida worked closely with the pre-adoptive family to make a transition that made sense to this child. She was successful and the child continues to thrive in that home.

Her area office writes, "We often praise foster parents for taking care of many children. What mattered to this child was that Nerida was there for her, to make a difference in this one little life. Each time, that is what we ask of this foster mother, to make that difference in that one child's life, and Nerida does that . . . over and over again!"

Mary and Tim H.


Foster Parents Mary and Tim H.
In 2001, Mary and Tim H. opened their home and have cared for approximately 34 children, from birth to age eighteen and have worked with DCF to keep siblings together. Mary and Tim believe it is important for every child to have positive memories to take with them when they leave their home. They are currently specializing in short-term and respite placements, but are committed to remain connected to children after they leave. .

For example, Mary and Tim contacted their local office to see if a child who had been with them would like to go to a Red Sox game. Another example is Mary and Tim's connection to a boy who resides with his adoptive family. They have provided respite for this child and Mary has attended school functions or stopped by his adoptive home to play and visit.

Tim and Mary have been members of their DCF Area Board (The Friends of Children and Families) with Tim as President since 2002. They have been extremely generous with their time, talent and other contributions. Tim and Mary contribute their ideas, vision and financial gifts as well as their labor. Their support for the work that social workers do is evident, and Tim even writes letters to local newspapers and speaks to legislators supporting the work of DCF. 

Alumni - Young Adults We're Proud Of

Keshia M.


Keshia M.
Twenty-one year old Keshia attends the University of Massachusetts in Boston and is a junior double-majoring in Criminal Justice and Psychology, while also holding down a part-time job. Keshia spent six years in foster care and feels she benefited a great deal from what she learned from those who helped her, including her foster parents.

Beyond applying herself to her college work and her job, Keshia volunteers her time as a youth advisor for a number of groups and with various other community organizations, as well as being a speaker and panelist for conferences and workshops. After spending this past school year as an intern at DCF, Keshia is looking forward to working this summer as an intern in the Office of Constituent Services for Governor Deval Patrick.

Keshia's recent experiences with DCF involve her work with an Adolescent Outreach Worker, who is assigned to her as a support and mentor. She is in constant contact with him, and likes to refer to him as her "other dad" - he also assisted her in acquiring her recent DCF internship position.

Keshia continues to receive financial and educational support from DCF, as the agency recognizes how important it is to provide resources to foster youth at age 18 and older to enable them to pursue higher education and have a positive college experience. We are proud of Keshia's accomplishments and look forward to watching her continue to develop into successful leader.

Mark B.


Mark B.
Mark is 34 years old, and was in foster care for three years of his life, living with a family in Central Massachusetts. Mark recognized that being in foster care offered him many positive experiences that enabled him to become a leader and help others.

Over the past several years, he has done extremely well in his career, receiving a number of promotions and advancements. He has had a successful career in marketing, works currently as a vice president for a Massachusetts start-up high-tech company, and traveling on behalf of the corporation throughout the United States.

He has owned his own condominium for several years and enjoys living in Boston. After graduating from high school, he began working and is now finishing up his college education.

He still stays in touch with his former foster family who has relocated to Florida, and visits them regularly. Last year, Mark served as best man at his foster brother's wedding.

He likes to serve as a role model to the foster of the youth he lived with when he was younger. He is currently looking for an opportunity to serve on a non-profit board of directors in order to assist others through community service. DCF is proud of Mark's accomplishments and his strong commitment to serving others.


This information is provided by the Department of Children and Families.