“Whether it has been supporting the needs of my family or the needs of the families and children we serve, Children’s Friend has been a stable, supportive place in our lives.”

-Veronica Listerud, LICSW, Director of Adoption and Family Services

Thinking about adopting a child? Read about a teenager in need of a loving home.

Adoption and Family Services Program

Children’s Friend became the first adoption agency in central Massachusetts in the 1850’s. We’re proud that we’re still helping to bring families together more than 150 years later.

Our licensed Adoption and Family Services program provides adoption-related services including:

  • Prepare and train families wanting to adopt through the foster care system.  Steps to becoming an Adoptive Parent:
    • Inquiry – Discuss with a social worker your interest in becoming an adoptive parent.  We will answer any questions you have and will help you get started.
    • Application - A social worker will send you an application or, upon your request, will visit your home.  Complete this form and return it to the agency or office you have chosen.
    • Safety Check - Background record checks are completed.  Your home must pass physical standards.  We seek to ensure that your household is a safe environment for placing a child.
    • Massachusetts Approach to Partnership in Parenting (MAPP) training – You will be invited to attend a training program.  You will learn about the needs of our waiting children.  The training covers topics such as communication, building self-esteem, child guidance and understanding behaviors.  To see a current list of training sessions click MAPP Training.
    • Home Study – A social worker will visit your home, interview your family members and will request personal references from you.  Applicants complete fingerprint checks.  Following the visits and reference checks, the social worker prepares a home study document.  This document details your family strengths.  It will also identify the type of child who is the best fit for your family.
    • License – Once your home study has been completed and approved, your family becomes licensed.
    • Placement - Placement decisions are based on the ability of your family to meet the needs of a particular child or sibling group.
  • Child adoption assessments, home studies, and case consultation to the Massachusetts Department of Children and Families (DCF).
  • Case management services for DCF, including recruitment of adoptive families and placement of children for adoption.
  • Searches for adoptees, adoptive parents, and birth parents whose adoptions were completed at Children’s Friend.

Do you have room in your heart to give a child a forever home?

Special Services

Therapeutic Supervised Visitation

The Therapeutic Supervised Visitation program provides a safe and structured setting where children, adoptive parents or guardians, and birth families come together with one goal: for children to know the love of their families. Sharing time together reinforces important family ties when children cannot live with their birth families. The children we serve are in adoptive homes or under legal guardianship. Our program is unique because we offer:

  • Face-to-face contact between children, birth parents, and adoptive families or guardians.
  • Facilitation by licensed therapists.
  • Child-centered activities.
  • A comfortable setting.

Other Training

Program Director Veronica Listerud, LICSW, and her staff provide training to public and private sector adoption workers on various aspects of adoption.

Our MAPP Training program:

Contact Us

The Adoption and Family Services Program is located at 21 Cedar Street in Worcester, Massachusetts. Please call Veronica Listerud, LICSW, Director of Adoption and Family Services, at (508) 753-5425 or emailadoption@childrensfriend.org.

Our Adoptive Families at the 2014 Holiday Party

A Wonderful National Adoption Day for Our Families


“Children’s Friend holds a special place in our heart. When we decided to start a family, adoption was our only option. Throughout the entire process the staff at the Children’s Friend was warm and friendly and there to answer any question we might have. The information we learned in our MAAP classes at the Children’s Friend proved to be invaluable in helping our children grow within our family. Our social worker Sue Uryasz is second to none. We deferred to her expertise in both of our adoptions, and thanks to her we have the two greatest gifts any person could wish for. Sue was able to use her years of experience to essentially hand pick the children that would be the best fit for our lifestyle and our home. Thanks to her help and knowledge the transition period for our two adoptions has been virtually seamless. We owe a great deal of thanks and gratitude to Children’s Friend and Sue Uryasz and would recommend them to anyone thinking of adopting without reservation.”

- David and Carrie C.

The adoption experience with Children’s Friend was extremely positive overall. They worked with us to do all of the necessary paperwork and training, and they were there to guide us through the process with the Department of Children and Families. In addition, they were so supportive in helping us with the emotional rollercoaster that comes with adopting. If you are considering adoption, I don’t think you could pick a better agency to guide you through it.

- Kim and Dave D.

Wishlist for our kids and families:

  • Sports equipment
    • basketballs
    • footballs
    • soccer balls
  • Arts and crafts supplies
  • Books
    • Parenting the Hurt Child
    • Adopting the Hurt Child
    • 1,2,3 Magic
    • Attachment Focused Parenting
    • Happy Adoption Day
    • The Mulberry Bird