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

Awards and Accolades

Press Releases


In The News

Interview with Judy Cockerton on The Huffington Post

Judy Cockerton, former toy store owner, Re-Envisions Foster Care In America.

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Purpose. Passion. Paycheck.

Posted by Amy Gutman on Plan B Nation

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Purpose Prize on Huffington Post

Meet Standout Post 60s Truly Making A Difference

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Discussing "The Encore Career Handbook: How to Make a Living and a Difference in the Second Half of Life".

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Sharon woman honored for her work with foster children

An article in the Boston Globe recognizing Judy Cockerton's work with the Treehouse Foundation.

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AARP sponsors Purpose Prize

Judy Cockerton recognized with an award for uniting generations.

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Refca 2015: Power of Collaboration

 For Social Media

An audio recording of the Re-Envisioning Foster Care in America 2015 Conference is available through iTunes for $9.99.

View in iTunes


#Session NameTime
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

Shared Responsibility - Foster Care Alumni

Engaging Youth in Creating Solutions

Engaging Youth in Creating Solutions

Preventing Aging Out

Preventing Aging Out

All Children Deserve Permanency

All Children Deserve Permanency

Whatever it Takes

Whatever it Takes

Living in Harmony

Living in Harmony

Accolades & Awards

2016 Innovation Excellence Award

2016 Innovation Excellence Award

The Massachusetts Nonprofit Network awarded REFCA the 2016 Inovation Excellence Award recognizing our unwavering dedication, passion, and innovative spirit.

2015 Adoption Excellence Award

U.S. Department of Health & Human Services/Children’s Bureau

2015 North American Council on Adoptable Children (NACAC)

Citizen Activist Award

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 Craft Award Ceremony


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.

Read the Gazette Article

Read Judy's Blog Post



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.

Other Recognition:

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

Press Releases


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