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Children's Trust's SAFE Child Communities Fellow

This fellowship is available exclusively for Graduate students

Children’s Trust

The Children’s Trust leads statewide efforts to prevent child abuse and neglect by supporting parents and strengthening families.

The Children's Trust is Massachusetts’ leading family support organization. They develop, support and deliver high-quality family strengthening programs informed by rigorous research in order to improve participant outcomes resulting in thriving children and families. They educate parents and train professionals through their Healthy Families in-home parent coaching program, Family Centers, Parenting Education and Support Programs, Fatherhood Initiative, Family Support Training Center, Child Sexual Abuse Prevention work, and parenting website

The framework of Children's Trust's programs is the Strengthening Families Approach. Developed by the Center for the Study of Social Policy, this research-based process identifies five Protective Factors that all families should have in place to increase the well-being of children and parents. All Children's Trust programs work to help parents build and strengthen these protective factors:

  1. Parental resilience
  2. Knowledge of parenting and child development
  3. Social connections
  4. Children's social and emotional development
  5. Concrete support in times of need

These Protective Factors serve as buffers, helping families to function effectively even when under stress. They create nurturing environments where children can grow up physically and mentally healthy.

Children's Trust's programs help Massachusetts families get the help they need to give their children a healthy start from prenatal care to school age and beyond. With support from the Children's Trust, young children across Massachusetts can grow up in nurturing families and communities, healthy and ready to succeed.

The goal of the Children’s Trust is to strengthen families and support parents so that they can create a nurturing and healthy environment for their children. We do this by providing programming, resources, information, and leadership to communities across Massachusetts.

Building the children’s future is their purpose

They believe that: 

  • every child deserves to grow up in a nurturing and loving environment
  • every parent wants to raise their children in a responsible and loving manner
  • every family has strengths
  • every community strives for a culture where all children and families thrive

Their long-term vision is that by 2020 family support services will be accessible to parents and children in all 351 cities and towns in Massachusetts.

Children’s Trust Funded Programs and Services:

Healthy Families is a home-based parent coaching program for young, first-time parents that helps them create stable, nurturing environments for their children. Healthy Families offers home visiting and supports to nearly 3,000 parents and infants each year.

Parenting Education and Support Programs are a group-based series that enable parents to  

Massachusetts Family Centers are where families tap into community resources, learn new parenting skills, and participate in activities and support programs..

The Fatherhood Initiative works with over 100 family service agencies on activities and trainings that support fathers, their families, and the professionals who work with them.

One Tough Job is the Children’s Trust’s award winning parenting website. It provides access to current, practical parenting information, tips, and support parents can trust in a format and manner that is unique in the industry.

All Babies Cry is the Children’s Trust’s multi-media evidence-based prevention of abusive head trauma tool designed to educate new parents on practical strategies for soothing infants and managing stress.

The Keeping Kids Safe parent training provides language and guidance for parents to use when talking with their children about keeping safe from potentially abusive situations. Program growth includes the translation of parent training curriculum and materials into five additional languages.

Sexual  Abuse Prevention Leadership: Together with the Commonwealth’s Child Advocate, the Children’s Trust co-leads the Legislative Child Sexual Abuse Prevention Task Force, a multi-agency collaboration to create new frameworks, guidance and tools for protecting children. This group works to advance important new recommendations in the following areas: screening and hiring; Codes of Conduct; Safe Environments; Responding and Reporting; and Training. 

Fellowship Description

The Children’s Trust announced a bold new initiative to prevent child abuse across the Commonwealth. Since its inception, Children’s Trust has been at the forefront of preventing child abuse and neglect in the Commonwealth using family- centered strength-based approaches. Our strategies are evidence-based; informed by science and proven by research. They know how to strengthen families and build essential community and neighborhood connections to prevent most of the childhood trauma that is occurring in families.

SAFE (Stop Abuse for Every Child) Communities will partner with communities to reframe traditional approaches to child maltreatment by putting prevention first. Through this bold new initiative, Children’s Trust will work with a broad state-level coalition of funders, content experts, service providers, evaluators, and other stakeholders to create comprehensive systems of care and support to strengthen and support families and communities in which they reside. Ultimately, the SAFE Child Communities Initiative will bring about systemic change that will decrease the tide of child maltreatment currently occurring across the Commonwealth.

Past Tisch Fellow Project: To aid in the development of the SAFE Child Communities Initiative, Last year’s Tisch fellow worked on a project and completed an in-depth analysis and report comparing the similarities and differences between community-based statewide Family Centers funded by three different state systems: Children’s Trust, the Department of Early Education and Care and the Department of Children and Families. The report included an analysis of overall program goals, type and duration of services to be delivered to families, demographics of families to be served, levels of funding, and program evaluation reporting and results. The fellow created a PowerPoint presentation featuring the findings of this project and presented it to the Senior Program staff at Children’s Trust.

Typical Hours


Work Environment

The fellow's work will take place primarily in an office environment at the Children’s Trust in Boston. Sometimes the work will take place offsite at nearby Family Center program offices and at Tufts University in Medford (program evaluation partners).

Work partners will be primarily from Children’s Trust program team. Tisch fellow may also interact with Family Center directors, Tufts evaluation team partners and database developers.

There may be opportunities to meet with program funders and with local community leaders connected to program project sites.

Specific Skills Required

  • Candidates should possess strong research and analytical skills and the ability to synthesize information from multiple sources.
  • Candidates should be detailed oriented, have excellent written and verbal communication skills and be proficient in email, web research, and Microsoft Office including Word, Excel and PowerPoint
  • Have a general understanding of strengths- based approaches and family support work.

Specific Experience Required

  • Candidates should have an interest in public policy, government administration, nonprofit management, or macro-level social work, in the field of children, youth and families.
  • Candidates will not be working directly with families but rather should be professional, mature, and comfortable in an office environment and able to multitask and work well independently as well as part of a team.
  • No particular major is required, but Social Work, Family Support/ Human Services and Education backgrounds are typical and helpful for this position.

Language Skills Required


Skills and Experience the Fellow Will Gain


1.Participating in the development of a statewide SAFE Child Communities “Request for Response (RFR)” grant funding application process

2.Integrating evidenced based programs and practices into existing program frameworks

3.In-depth understanding of importance of shift in program practice to a strength-based approach


1. Assist in the development of a program implementation and evaluation strategy to be delivered in key locations in MA

2. Collaborating with stakeholders at the Federal, State and community level to produce program and evaluation tools and documents

3. Working in a fast-paced environment

Typical work assignments include:

  • Conducting analysis of program data and information from key stakeholder
  • Working with Children’s Trust staff , the Tufts evaluation team and database developers on building a new data collection system and processes
  • Attending program site visits at Family Center programs to observe and gather site specific program information
  • Conducting literature review of Family Support best practices and Family Support program research
  • Working with Children’s Trust Family Support program team to develop next best steps for training and implementation efforts focused on launching the SAFE Child Communities Initiative
  • Additionally, all Children's Trust interns and fellows will be expected to provide front desk coverage for at least 2 hours per week. This includes, answering the phones, handling inquiries, mailing, faxing and greeting visitors.

The Children's Trust Fellow selected this year will have a unique opportunity to participate in the development of a new Request for Response (RFR) grant funding proposal that will be released statewide to fund our new SAFE Child Communities site(s). Participating in the process of developing a new statewide RFR, released by a state system provides a rare learning opportunity for fellows/interns to gain a better understanding of how state funding provided to community-based organization happens.


Cheryl Vines is the Director of Family Support. Cheryl serves as a member of the Children’s Trust Senior Management team and as a member of the management team for the Children’s Trust Program unit.  The Director of Family Support provides direct supervision to the Family Support Team around program management and implementation of the Massachusetts Family Centers, and the Parenting Education and Support Programs. This staff person is also the lead manager for the SAFE Child Communities Initiative. The Director of Family Support also represents CTF on external committees/initiatives as needed and requested.

The Director of Family Support works with the agency’s Deputy Director/for Programs with the development and oversight of the FS budget to ensure stability and growth for all Children’s Trust funded programs. As a member of Senior Staff, the Director of Family Support works closely with all other senior level managers to assist with the overall management of the agency, develop and participate in a strategic planning process and set policies and procedures affecting the Program Unit and the agency as a whole

Jack Miller, Deputy Director/ for Programs, will work closely with the team to provide ongoing Support and Supervision in the absence of the Director of Family Support.

Applications for this Placement Are Open!

The applications for this placement are now closed. If you have any questions, email