Every child deserves permanence, safety and well-being.

The Department of Children and Families Foster Care Program provides safe homes and compassionate foster parents for children who are removed from their homes due to abuse or neglect, unsafe or dangerous conditions. Whenever the Department removes children from their home, attempts to identify family or extended family members are conducted for placement. If the Department is unsuccessful in its attempt to place a child with extended family, foster care is the alternative that offers the child a caring and stable home. The safety of a foster home can often be the place where children begin to heal from the trauma they have experienced. Foster Parents provides a safe home for children during a time of great stress and turmoil.

The Department of Children and Families is committed to protecting children and strengthening families. We work first and foremost to keep families together.

  • If a child needs to be placed, their families are usually involved in a Care and Protection petition or a Child in Need of Services petition in the court system.
  • To determine best placement options for the child, both the Department and the court regularly review each child's needs and parental efforts towards reunification.
  • If the court decides that a child be placed in foster care, The Department focuses on providing safe, nurturing families where a child's basic needs can be met, a place where healing can begin.
  • the Department seeks to place siblings together.
  • While a child or children are in Foster Care, we support parents as they develop the resources and skills that will help them keep their children free from abuse and neglect.
  • Most of the children who enter Foster Care return home to their families.

What do foster families provide to a child in the care the Department?

Foster parents provide a substitute extended family for their foster child.

  • They recognize that the goal of foster care is to provide a temporary safe and healing place for a child.
  • They understand the significance of the child's birth family, and are committed to preserving the integrity of the birth family and reuniting the birth family.
  • They function as team members, and work with the Department and with the child's birth family, extended family, school and community to ensure that the child maintains these important connections.
  • The experience of foster parenting is unique to each person who assumes this role. The role is very challenging, and can be deeply gratifying.

If you are thinking about foster care and can open your home and heart to one of our children, please call 1-800-KIDS-508.

Detailed information regarding Foster Parenting is available by contacting:

The Commonwealth of Massachusetts
Department of Children and Families
Attention: Foster Care Support Services
600 Washington Street
Boston, MA 02111

Local: 617.748.2000
Toll Free: 1.800.548.4802


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