The AOK Blog

Parents with their child in a sunny field

Ep 26: Learn About the Pathways to Permanency Program

Pathways to Permanency (P2P) is an incredible program available in Massachusetts to foster families who need assistance and support (um... that's all of us!). Hear Marianna's ...
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Sundae Funday Virtual 5k 2021

Join All Our Kids for our first 2021 event! May is National Foster Care Awareness Month. Help us spread the word, get out and play, and support ...
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5 Things to Expect as a Foster Parent

Being a foster parent can be a rewarding and exciting experience. It can also be unnerving, challenging, and emotionally taxing. In other words, it's rather ...
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Covid-19 Community Fund supported 32 local families

Our current global pandemic has stressful and frightening for all of us. In addition to the health concerns many of us have had, millions of ...
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Census, Taxes, and Birth Certificates (Oh My!)

There are some nitty gritty logistics to deal with as foster and adoptive parents that can be a little confusing. What we're most often asked ...
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Open Adoption Agreements

Indeed, many cases resolve before trial, either days or weeks or months before, or on the first day of trial, with a parent or parents' ...
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Supports Available for Foster Families in Western MA

Foster and adoptive families have access to various types of resources and supports that help to meet the needs of children. Supports and resources that ...
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Birth Parents’ Rights and Children’s Rights

The right to parent is a sacred one in our society and we don't take it away from people lightly. Our current child welfare and ...
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The Role of Foster Parents in Court

The foster parent is not a party to the case, meaning the foster parent has no right to participate directly in it through an attorney. ...
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Understanding the Court Process

There are a number of different court meetings, hearings, and trials that you will hear about as a foster parent. The most typical outcome of ...
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Who’s Who In the Court Process

There is typically no shortage of attorneys of attorneys and other court personnel involved in a DCF case. Parents' Attorneys Each birth parent will have ...
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Approaching Family Time (“Parent Child Visits”)

Children in foster care will start visiting with their birth family very soon after they enter care, sometimes as quickly as the next day. Typically, ...
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What Are All These DCF Meetings?

DCF's practices and policies with regard to foster care can be complicated and idiosyncratic. These practices are not always standardized and can vary from office ...
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Advocating As a Foster Parent

Being a foster parent is never an easy or straightforward experience. Inevitably, you will encounter challenges you weren't expecting, surprises you're not sure how to ...
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Who Are All These Social Workers?

The Massachusetts Department of Children and Families (DCF) is an enormous government bureaucracy, with a number of important responsibilities that support the safety and wellbeing ...
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Masshealth logo

Masshealth Coverage for Adopted Children

Masshealth is the state Medicaid program in Massachusetts, and provides insurance coverage for anyone in the state who qualifies based on income or disability. Children ...
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AOK’s Coloring Book featured by The Reminder

"Local nonprofit, artist team for coloring book for foster families”– Danielle Eaton, The Reminder, Dec. 28, 2020
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A Different Kind of Thanks

It’s significant that Thanksgiving and National Adoption Month coincide. There is so much to be grateful for around adoption, and the spirit of giving thanks ...
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AOK Guest Post: Last Chance Words

“When he first came to us, you wrote a letter asking us to take care of him. We loved him and did our best to ...
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The Lasting Effects of Our Time with Michael

Earlier this month would have been the third annual Homebrew Showcase for All Our Kids. The last two years of this event have been a ...
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Missing My Village: A Pandemic Story

Even though I knew it was coming, the news that learning would happen remotely in my town was a punch in the gut. Remote learning ...
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The Tarjick Family on their front steps

Ep. 25: Meet Child Welfare Advocate and Veteran Foster/Adoptive Parent: Missy Tyler Tarjick

Hearing about Missy's lifelong involvement in foster care and adoption is inspiring, surprising, and sometimes even jaw dropping. From her own birth family's fostering journey ...
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Ep. 24: Parenting During the Times of Covid

This is not the summer any of us looked forward to. COVID-19 has been ravaging communities, and leaving families with challenges they've never faced before. ...
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Episode 23: Navigating Discussions of Race, Justice, and Equality as Foster Parents

The world is changing quickly, hopefully toward more justice and equality. In light of the recent murder of George Floyd, and countless other victims of ...
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Announcement: Adoption Subsidies

July 7, 2020 Have you received a notice of suspension from the DCF Adoption Subsidy Unit, despite having turned in all necessary renewal paperwork? During ...
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AOK Founder joins dialogue on State Legislation

In 2019, several pieces of pending legislation (including the Foster Parent Bill of Rights and the Foster Care Review Bill) shined a light on the ...
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The Waiting Game

I never realized how much of my foster care experience would be characterized by waiting: Waiting for a response from a social worker. Waiting for ...
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Keynote Address: Children’s Study Home 2019 Meeting

On June 6, 2019, I shared the keynote address with State Rep. Tricia Farley-Bouvier (D-Pittsfield) at the Children's Study Home Annual Meeting. Rep. Farley-Bouvier shared ...
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Six years later: Reflecting on our “gotcha” moment

Mind blowing. Honestly, it's mind blowing. Just hours after Marianna and I recorded the latest episode of the AOK podcast, during which I made reference ...
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National Adoption Day Makes Them A Family of Three

When Tani and Carlos Rivera set out to create their family, they both agreed on fostering to adopt. They envisioned their family with maybe a ...
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Instant Family has some hidden gems

Heather Adams, journalist and AOK board member, not only got a sneak peek of Instant Family - a new movie about the foster care experience ...
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No More Empty Nest

  Photos by Kyra Jean Photo As an empty nester, Candice Tauscher wasn’t looking to take up a new hobby like golfing or gardening, she ...
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Our Homebrew Showcase was a big hit and covered by local media outlets!

Watch the WWLP Segment below... And here’s a link to coverage from Western Mass News! Our founder, Marianna Litovich, and Chris Maza, fundraiser organizer, talk ...
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She Could Have Been My Daughter

    The first time I held her in my arms, she was only weeks old. Her tiny body nestled between my arm and my ...
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AOK’s founder featured in Business West’s “40 Under 40” Class of 2018

40 Under Forty is a celebration of young business and civic leaders in Western Massachusetts. Our founder, Dr. Marianna Litovich, was selected as part of ...
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AOK Founder receives 2018 Champions for Children award

Our founder, Dr. Marianna Litovich, received the Champions for Children award at the Child Advocacy Center’s Annual Breakfast in 2018.
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AOK Founder receives 2018 Champion for Children award

Our Founder, Marianna Litovich, and her partner, Kelley Fike, were the recipients of this year’s Champion for Children award from the Children’s Advocacy Center or ...
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It Takes a Village to Adopt a Child

Carolina Clark, 38, and her husband Michael, 42, spent Carolina’s birthday in January 2016 meeting Jordan, the little boy who would take over their hearts ...
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No Judge Would Ever Take Her Away

There are a lot of well-meaning comments about our journey through foster care from well-intentioned friends and family that really rub me the wrong way. ...
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Ep. 13: On Babies, Siblings, and Recovering From Trauma

Back to AOK Podcasts Click here to subscribe to our podcast   A New Placement, and Looking Ahead       https://fosteringaok.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/030518-aok-pod.mp3   AOK Founder, ...
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Ep. 12: A Long, Cold, Lonely Winter

Back to AOK Podcasts Click here to subscribe to our podcast   A Long, Cold, Lonely Winter       https://fosteringaok.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/aok-podcast-winter-lonely.mp3   Although spring is ...
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Ep. 11: Want to Get Involved? Here’s Our Menu of Opportunities!

Back to AOK Podcasts Click here to subscribe to our podcast Our Menu of Opportunities https://fosteringaok.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/aok-podcast-100217-check-2.mp3 The most frequent question we're asked is, "What can ...
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Ep. 10: Resource Spotlight — All About KidsNet, Foster Care Support Through MSPCC

Back to AOK Podcasts Click here to subscribe to our podcast   What is KidsNet?   https://fosteringaok.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/AOK-allie-weissman-interview.mp3   KidsNet is an important resource for foster ...
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A Message of Thanks Giving

To all those who have opened your homes and hearts to children in need, this message is for you: On this day of gratitude, I ...
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Ep. 9: National Adoption Month

Back to AOK Podcasts Click here to subscribe to our podcast National Adoption Month November is National Adoption Month! Listen to learn about a special ...
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An Unconventional Family Tree

Amanda (left) and Angel. Photo by MamaRazzi Photography. Eight years ago, Amanda and her 5-year-old foster son, Angel, sat on chairs in the sterile hallway ...
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Ep. 8: What’s Been Happening at AOK?

Back to AOK Podcasts Click here to subscribe to our podcast   What's Going On At AOK?   https://fosteringaok.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/AOK-update-podcast-final-2.mp3   We've been busy the last ...
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Heath and Rachael: Enough love for seven

Rachael and her husband, Heath, already had children. But when their landlord brought up foster care, the two decided that fostering to adopt would be ...
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Be Part of the Fabric of Our Community — Purchase a Quilt Square and Support AOK!

Quilt square made by a child at an All Our Kids event. At our events you’ll likely find a table with blank cloth squares. As ...
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The Magic of Coming Together

  The forecast is for thunderstorms, gusty winds, and a chance of hail. Not ideal conditions for a summer gathering at a local park, to ...
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Creating My Village: The All Our Kids Story

When I became a foster parent in 2008, I assumed I was going to enter a strong community of connected foster parents who live the ...
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A Letter To My (foster) Baby

To My Sweet Little Boy, The world got a little brighter sixteen months ago today. Because that was the day you were born. When I ...
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Recruit + Respect = Retain

  As the foster care system in our state and around the country becomes increasingly overburdened, our DCF system has invested significant effort in recruitment ...
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Ep. 7: Meet Our Families — Amanda

Back to AOK Podcasts Click here to subscribe to our podcast Meet Amanda https://fosteringaok.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/AOK-Amanda-final-podcast.mp3 Imagine having over 150 children come through your home in less ...
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Ep. 6: Meet Our Families — Marty Blair

Back to AOK Podcasts Click here to subscribe to our podcast Meet Marty Blair https://fosteringaok.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/AOK-Marty-profile-final.mp3 Before she became a foster parent, Marty Blair was a ...
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Ep. 5: A Visit With Birth Mom

Back to AOK Podcasts Click here to subscribe to our podcast A Visit With Birth Mom Marianna talks about her relationship with her kids' birth ...
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Ep. 4: Adopting Through Foster Care

Back to AOK Podcasts Click here to subscribe to our podcast Adopting a Child Through Foster Care https://fosteringaok.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/AOK-podcast-adopting-through-foster.mp3 Adoptive parents, Kyle and Marianna, discuss why ...
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Ep. 3: Parenting Someone Else’s Child

Back to AOK Podcasts Click here to subscribe to our podcast Parenting Someone Else's Child https://fosteringaok.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/AOK-parenting-someone-else-child.mp3 What does it mean to parent someone else's child? ...
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Ep. 2: Our Foster Care Stories

Back to AOK Podcasts Click here to subscribe to our podcast Our Foster Care Stories https://fosteringaok.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/AOK-our-foster-stories.mp3 Listen to AOK founders, Marianna Litovich and Kyle Belanger, ...
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Ep. 1 Welcome to All Our Kids!

Back to AOK Podcasts Click here to Subscribe to our Podcast   What's This AOK Thing All About? https://fosteringaok.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/AOK-podcast-1-who-we-are.mp3 Listen to two of our founders, ...
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Dan and Treacy’s Story

2017 Family Gallery Image by Monesson-Olson Photography Growing up, Treacy always knew she wanted to adopt through foster care, and specifically always wanted to adopt ...
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What Could Be Going On With My Child?

Parents have to be good listeners, good observers, and good detectives to be able to understand our kids’ behaviors, particularly when those kids have emotional ...
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AOK Founder & Partner selected as 2016 Massachusetts Foster Parents of the Year

Our founder, Dr. Marianna Litovich, and her partner, Kelley Fike, were selected as Massachusetts Foster Parents of the Year in 2016. Read coverage and an ...
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