Our Mission

Knowledge Wall

The Treehouse Foundation promotes public investment in our most vulnerable children. We seek to inspire, implement and support innovative child welfare practices to ensure children who have experienced foster care find lifelong family relationships in supportive communities, which enable them to lead fulfilling and productive lives."

The foundation seeks to impact child welfare practice and promote public investment in our most vulnerable children through the development of innovative programs and practices. It is the goal of the Treehouse Foundation to see every child rooted in family and community, and to cultivate collaborations and initiatives that support this goal.

"The Treehouse Foundation, through its collaborative and inter-generational programs and targeted policy advocacy, increases the odds that children and youth who experience foster care will have positive outcomes through emotionally healthy relationships." ~ Sarah B. Greenblatt, Jim Casey Youth Opportunities Initiatives

The Treehouse Foundation currently has two major initiatives.

  1. Established in 2006, the Treehouse Community is a geographically contained, multigenerational, planned neighborhood where adoptive families, their children and elders invest in one another's lives. It is a village where children find not just parents and a home, but also grandparents, playmates and an entire neighborhood designed to help them grow up in a secure and nurturing environment.
  2. The Re-Envisioning Foster Care in America (REFCA) Initiative was launched in late 2010, and serves as a growing model for regional investment in the success and well being of children and families who experience foster care.

Both the Treehouse Community and the REFCA initiative are inspiring new collaborations and investment in the well being of children.

On the waterBackground

The non-profit Treehouse Foundation was established in 2002 by foster/adoptive parent Judy Cockerton who saw the tremendous need for new approaches to support the success of some of our most vulnerable kids. After four years of research, planning, engaging widespread support from congregations, organizations and individuals, and building organizational collaborations, the Treehouse Foundation opened its first major initiative, the multigenerational Treehouse Community in Easthampton MA, in June, 2006.

The community model engages public investment and is designed to help move children out of foster care and into permanent loving families who live among a close knit group of neighbors age 55 years and older.  The Treehouse Community (Treehouse) development and structure is based on partnership and a blending of public, private, and in-kind resources provided by community members.  Consistent with our commitment to collaboration and sustainability, the Treehouse Community organizational partnership structure includes: a property developer/manager, Beacon Communities LLC; and a licensed social service agency providing foster and adoption informed on-site services, Berkshire Children and Families. The Treehouse Foundation serves as founder and visionary, drives the mission, and leads program development. The efforts and resources of these organizations are fundamentally enhanced and strengthened by partnerships with community members including parents, youth and elders.

"The Treehouse approach is especially critical in preparing families to meet the potential challenges of children with a history requiring foster care. I am optimistic  that in the upcoming years Treehouse will serve as an innovative model for sustaining family commitments, leading to healthier and happier children." ~ Lisa M. H. Albers, MD, MPH Director, Adoption Program, Children's Hospital Boston

It is our collective responsibility to reduce the number of children who will end up homeless and jobless because they did not have a family available to them to provide the guidance and support necessary to succeed.


Community is at the heart of Treehouse. The Treehouse cornerstones of respect, compassion, collaboration and commitment create a strong foundation for restoring and strengthening the well-being of children in foster care.


Finding families for waiting children and surrounding them with a caring community that is infused with a spirit of mutual responsibility and sensitivity to one another's needs - this is the work of the Treehouse Community.


We actively collaborate with people and organizations to create new engagement options that invite people of all ages to step forward and contribute to the Treehouse mission and vision.

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