For many children in the care of the Department of Children and Families (DCF), there is a need for additional support and services in order to meet their basic and life-enriching needs. Fortunately, these children have the support of the DCF Kids Fund to help provide the activities that many children take for granted. The DCF Kids Fund serves as a support system, with the goal of providing not only basic necessities but opportunities for development as well to the more than 40,000 children served by DCF. There are approximately 7,500 children in foster care, 2,000 children in residential care, and more than 30,000 children living with their families who receive DCF services. The DCF Kids Fund helps to provide and care for all of these children.
When the DCF Kids Fund was established in 1998, it supplied emergency items such as diapers, hot meals, warm clothes, and toothbrushes to children entering DCF care. They were able to provide gifts to children during the holidays and even send some children to camp during the summer. Today, the DCF Kids Fund still supplies critical and emergency items needed by children entering DCF care, but the program has grown exponentially. As efforts and contributions to the Fund have grown, more and more foster children are able to attend summer camp and participate in a variety of life-enriching activities such as music, dance, and sports.
Here are several examples of DCF Kids Fund support and services:
- Emergency Placement Project – Many of the 8,000 children who enter foster care each year often come to the Department hungry, without adequate clothing, and in need of a bath. The Kids Fund provides every child entering care with necessary items such as infant formula, clothing, toiletries, diapers, toys, duffel bags, backpacks and meals to make the transition to foster care as comfortable as possible.
- Enrichment and Education Initiative – The Kids Fund helps to give children the opportunity to participate in sports, music, dance, art, SAT college preparatory programs, and other after school programs – vital activities that help build a child’s confidence and broaden his or her horizons.
- Holiday Gift Drive – Every child in DCF care receives a gift, making sure they have a special and memorable holiday season.
- Summer Camp – Every summer, the Kids Fund sends hundreds of children to camp. The formative experience of attending camp aids in a child’s development and provides memories that last a lifetime.
For more information on how the DCF Kids Fund helps children in DCF care, please visit: http://www.dcfkidsfund.org/
The DCF Kids Fund is a 501c3 entity; 98 percent of donations go to helping the children. Larry Begley serves as Board Chairman and Saf Caruso serves as the Executive Director, for more information please contact Saf Caruso at 617-748-2368 or Saf.Lerman-Caruso@state.ma.us