Can One Woman Fix Foster Care? Meet Judy Cockerton


“A force of nature.” That’s how one person described Judy Cockerton.  

Judy’s life changed dramatically when she became a foster parent at the age of 48. She and her husband Arthur took on the responsibility of raising two sisters aged five months and seventeen months – along with their own two kids who were 12 and 18 at the time. And for the first time she saw how flawed the child welfare system was in her home state of Massachusetts — and in America.

She developed a really simple idea to improve the system. Let’s bring together adoptive families and their children with a group of caring elders. And let’s have them live together in the same neighborhood.

So she created an organization called The Treehouse Foundation. She worked closely with the Massachusetts Department of Children and Families. She found a developer and helped secure $15 million in government funding. And she focused on building a model community that supports adoptive families.

I traveled to Easthampton, Massachusetts and spent a day with Judy Cockerton and the Treehouse Community of 100+ people there. It’s an amazing story.

Click here to learn more about the Treehouse Foundation.

One thought on “Can One Woman Fix Foster Care? Meet Judy Cockerton

  1. Laurie Fenneuff Reply

    Andy, I loved this podcast with Judy Cockerton from the Treehouse Foundation. I also have had the pleasure of touring their facility and was amazed at their model and believe in what they are doing for foster families who turn into permanent homes for foster children.
    I am a Regional Ambassador for a non-profit called Royal Family KIDS, Inc. (RFK). We serve foster children all over the world and believe in community transformation…one child at a time. We have specialized camps and mentoring clubs for foster children that we have seen change the trajectory of their lives. We have taken children from the Treehouse community to our camps to help continue the process of making a greater impact in these hurting kids lives.
    I would love to have a conversation with you to share how RFK is making an impact in young and broken lives. We are all over the world and in 7 other countries trying to help children who matter, but feel thrown away and forgotten.
    Thank you for airing a podcast segment of someone who cared enough about hurting children to do something about it. It’s a topic of epic proportions that needs to be talked about until this epidemic is over in this country and around the world.
    Please feel free to contact me to continue the conversation of how we are helping this precious children at: 774-289-9994 Laurie Fenneuff – Northeast Regional Ambassador (RFK National Office in California, however, I live here in Massachusetts and serve the kids in the Northeast Region)

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