The Treehouse Foundation has received national attention for its innovative work supporting the success of some of our nation’s most vulnerable children. Follow these links to learn more about what people are saying about Treehouse and the REFCA Movement. You will also find photos and videos that showcase amazing presenters from the REFCA conferences and that demonstrate the vibrancy of the Treehouse Community
From the Treehouse Blog
To accomplish its vision Treehouse invites people of all ages and backgrounds to become resources to children and youth whose lives have been impacted by foster care.
Seven years later you can still feel that goodness on Treehouse Circle.
Following in Dr. Paul Farmer’s footsteps, we have launched The Re-Envisioning Foster Care in America Movement and are collaborating with visionary Americans of all ages and backgrounds to create coast to coast collaborations designed to be a catalyst for widespread investment in foster care innovation.
It’s happens all the time… I’ll be at a stop light and someone will drive up next to me, roll down their window and say, “Re-Envisioning Foster Care. Is that really possible?”
I have a dream… That all children placed in our public foster care system will one day reside in a nation where they are given every opportunity to live healthy and productive lives.
We make a promise to children when we remove them from their homes: to provide them with safety and find them a permanent loving connection if they cannot be returned to their first family. In a timely fashion.
In The News
The Treehouse Community in Easthampton is one of several multi-generational communities recognized by Newsweek Magazine as a way to create communities where foster families and older adults live together, helping each other.
Treehouse is recognized by the National Association of Social Workers (NASW) for redefining foster care to focus on supporting families to make their lives better on their own terms.
Refca 2015: Power of Collaboration
An audio recording of the Re-Envisioning Foster Care in America 2015 Conference is available through iTunes for $9.99.
|1||Collaborating Across Silos||1:06:30|
|2||Connecticut Child Welfare Keynote||44:36|
|3||Faith Communities in Action||1:11:57|
|4||Family Is Your Right Youth Session||1:06:39|
|5||Fathers in Training: Positive Fatherhood Training||1:16:26|
|6||Future of Foster Care Morning||1:20:32|
|7||Future of Foster Care Afternoon||1:24:26|
|8||Impacting Policy: The Strengthening Families Act||1:10:02|
|9||MA Implementation of Safe Families Act||43:51|
|10||More Effective Child Advocacy||1:11:34|
|11||Rodney Walker Keynote||15:09|
|12||The Power of Play in Healing||1:21:00|
|13||Steve Gross Keynote||42:58|
|14||Trauma Informed Post Adoptive Services||1:11:32|
|15||The Value of Good Relationships||1:14:12|
|16||Why Attachment Matters||1:12:46|
The Treehouse Community
The Treehouse Foundation in Easthampton Massachusetts is a model for re-envisioning the way foster care can run. An inter-generational community set in a vast expanse of peace and quiet, with a base of senior members and foster parents who do their best provides an extremely supportive environment for the youth. We see first hand the benefits of this community as a family of four adopted children living with a single mother is profiled
Following a press conference in Western Massachusetts, Daniel and Eytan from Fostering Media Connections check local newspapers to see whether any stories about foster care had been written.
REFCA Conference 2014
Shared Responsibility - Foster Care Alumni
Engaging Youth in Creating Solutions
Preventing Aging Out
Accolades & Awards
2016 Innovation Excellence Award
2015 Adoption Excellence Award
2015 North American Council on Adoptable Children (NACAC)
Angel in Adoption Award
Senator John Kerry has selected Judy Cockerton of Sharon, Massachusetts as the 2010 Angel in Adoption for her outstanding advocacy on behalf of foster children. Cockerton was honored at an awards ceremony in Washington, D.C. along with 140 Angels. The Angels in Adoption program is sponsored by the Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute (CCAI).
Judy Cockerton founded three Massachusetts non-profits committed to serving foster children. The Treehouse Foundation provides an intergenerational, planned community for children and adoptive families to provide permanency to children who have experienced foster care and seniors who wish to be “extended family members.” Cockerton also founded Sibling Connections which helps foster children keep that invaluable link to their siblings and Birdsong Farm to address the educational challenges kids in foster care face. Cockerton is also a foster and adoptive parent.
Judy is a community hero who has made a remarkable difference for children in our foster care system,” said Sen. Kerry. “Her work for kids is an inspiration, and we all thank her for her commitment to foster children everywhere.”
“The Angels in Adoption program is unlike any other program in the Nation’s Capitol. Because of it, over 1700 ‘Angels’ have come to share with Washington their adoption experience and left with a renewed excitement of all that adoption makes possible,” said Kathleen Strottman, Executive Director of the CCAI.
Margaret A. McKenna Alumni Community Service Award
The Alumni Awards – presented annually – recognize Lesley alumni who have made outstanding contributions to the advancement of Lesley University through service to the university, community, and/or their profession.
Judy Cockerton (GSOE ‘78) was the recipient of the 2012 Margaret A. McKenna Alumni Community Service Award, honored as a social entrepreneur who has created a grass roots movement to fundamentally change the way we view and care for the 800,000 children who experience foster care in America. The award ceremony took place on March 31, 2012 at Washburn Hall on Lesley University Brattle Campus.
The Margaret A. McKenna Alumni Community Service Award honors an alumna/us for volunteer service in the areas of education, human services, management or arts organizations outside of the scope of their professional employment or business affiliations. Criteria include scope of impact on others, length of service, number of organizations served, and serving as an elected official.
Myra Kraft Community MVP Award
On August 16th, 2012, Former Patriots fullback Patrick Pass spent the day playing interactive games with Treehouse youth and awarded the Myra Kraft Community MVP Award to Treehouse volunteer, Rosa Young.
Just days earlier, the New England Patriots Charitable Foundation honored the 16 winners of the Myra Kraft Community MVP Awards program at Gillette Stadium. During the ceremony, the winners were recognized for their efforts and a donation was awarded to the nonprofit organization for which each honoree volunteers.
Charles L. Edson Tax Credit Award
Treehouse at Easthampton Meadow was honored by the Affordable Housing Tax Credit Coalition, with the 13th Annual Charles L. Edson Tax Credit Award in the Special Needs category.
"Treehouse at Easthampton Meadow is a unique intergenerational community that is providing a unique model of care for children coming out of the state foster care system and for elders. This award recognizes the excellence of both the vision that created this community, and its implementation, and we are honored by that.” ~ Pam Goodman, president of Beacon Communities Development
The awards are presented to the most outstanding Housing Credit developments in four categories and honor the best in affordable rental housing development. Each winning development received a grant to bring additional services, facilities, or amenities to the property for the benefit of its residents.
The awards were presented on June 5th, 2007 during a luncheon in Washington, D.C. celebrating the winners. The Coalition received 48 entries from 23 states with the winners determined through a highly competitive nationwide selection process. The four award categories were developments located in a metropolitan area, developments located in rural areas, special needs housing, and senior housing.
Financing partners for Treehouse included public and private entities, including the Massachusetts Department of Housing and Community Development, the MassHousing Finance Agency, the Community Economic Development Assistance Corporation, and Bank of America, with federal and state syndication provided by CharterMac Capital LLC.
2006 Best Special Needs
Presented by The Affordable Housing Tax Credit Coalition
2006 Best Family Housing - Finalist
Presented By Affordable Family Finance
2007 Community of Excellence Award
Presented by the RHA (Rental Housing Association)
2008 National Apartment Association PARAGON Award for Best Garden/Townhouse Community
Presented by the National Apartment Association
Click to download a press release in PDF format