Civil Rights, Social Action, Advocacy

Massachusetts Advocates for Children, Inc.

  • Boston, MA
  • www.massadvocates.org

Mission Statement

Massachusetts Advocates for Children is a child advocacy organization whose mission is to be an independent and effective voice for children who face significant barriers to equal educational and life opportunities. MAC works to overcome these barriers by changing conditions for many children, while also helping one child at a time. For over 45 years, MAC has responded to the needs of children who are vulnerable because of poverty, race, limited English or disability. MAC's vision is that all children in the Commonwealth, especially the most vulnerable, have the opportunity to reach their fullest potential. Central to this vision is that all children receive the high quality education to which they are entitled and which will enable them to succeed. MAC does not seek or accept public government funding that would compromise our ability to advocate most effectively with public agencies which create the barriers we are

Main Programs

  1. Autism Special Education Legal Support Center
  2. Boston School Reform Project
  3. Children's Law Support Project (CLSP)
  4. Statewide Special Education
  5. Trauma and Learning Policy Initiative
  6. Boston Special Education Transition (B-SET) Project
Service Areas

Self-reported

Massachusetts

MAC conducts statewide legislative and administrative advocacy. Our Helpline is called on behalf of children by parents and others from all over the state. We provide training to parents and professionals throughout the state. MAC has a historic and on-going advocacy focus with the Boston Public Schools. We also have specific projects in certain locales, currently in Lawrence, Brockton, Plymouth County and Somerville.

ruling year

1971

Principal Officer since 2003

Self-reported

Mr. Jerry Mogul

Keywords

Self-reported

advocacy, education, legal, children, disability

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EIN

04-2488456

 Number

4753438659

Also Known As

MAC

Contact

Cause Area (NTEE Code)

dren's Rights (Rhi)

Elementary, Secondary Ed (B20)

Disabled Persons' Rights (R23)

IRS Filing Requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

Programs + Results

How does this organization make a difference?

Overview

Self-reported by organization

1. Special Education Legislative Activity: Passage of a new law - the Autism Omnibus Act - that enables thousands of low-income children with autism to be covered by MassHealth for behavioral services, similar to those covered by private insurance. 2. Special Education Transition: Expansion of Inclusive Concurrent Enrollment Initiative to 13 public colleges across the state; and developing action plan with 70 organizations to improve access to post-secondary opportunities for Boston youth with disabilities. 2. Trauma and Learning Policy Initiative: a) Leadership role on the state's Safe and Supportive Schools Commission; b) Active website - www.traumasensitiveschools.org - to provide information about creating and advocating for trauma-sensitive schools and to form a learning community of educators. c) Publication of the second volume of Helping Traumatized Children Learn, titled Creating and Advocating for Trauma-Sensitive Schools, and using it to evaluate in five schools. 3. School Discipline Reform: Leadership in coalition to monitor the implementation of the state law, c. 222, resulting in 10,000 fewer school exclusions. Leads coalition negotiating with BPS that resulted in extensive revisions to the Boston Code of Conduct that are aligned with new state school discipline law. 5. Helpline and training: MAC responded to nearly 1,000 calls from parents and professionals, offering advice, technical assistance, referral and/or full legal representation. Focus on low-income parents facing language barriers in Lawrence and East Boston. 2016 goals **Monitoring and follow up of Omnibus Autism Act and Safe and Supportive Schools legislation. **Implementation of Action Plan of the Boston Special Education Transition Project to provide more pathways to prepare, connect and employ Boston youth with disabilities. **Monitoring of implementation of school discipline law statewide and in Boston.**Completion independent evaluation of creating trauma-sensitive schools.

Programs

Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Program 1

Autism Special Education Legal Support Center

The Autism Center provides training, technical assistance and advocacy services to ensure that children with autism spectrum disorder (""ASD"") overcome lowered expectations and receive equal educational opportunities. School systems in MA continue to face large increases of children diagnosed with ASD. Most recent studies from the CDC indicate that the prevalence of ASD is now as high as 1 per every 110 children. Children on the spectrum face tremendous obstacles in the public schools, which frequently limit service options based on erroneous presumptions about limited competence and educational potential of children with autism. The Center follows MAC's multi-strategic approach of individual case advocacy, education and training to parents and professionals, research and reports, and advocacy for systemic change at the school district level (e.g., Lawrence and Boston) and at the statewide policy level (i.e., legislative and administrative).

Category

Civil Rights, Social Action & Advocacy, General/Other

Population(s) Served

Other Named Groups

Children and Youth (0 - 19 years)

Budget

$225,460.00

Program 2

Boston School Reform Project

The goals of the project are to: assure that the Boston Public Schools will provide equity and excellence in education to all children; significantly reduce racial/ethnic and program achievement gaps; and develop parent and community leadership from Boston's diverse communities on education reform matters, including policy improvements for children who are English Language Learners. The project informs parents, students and community leaders about changes taking place in the schools, trains them in advocacy and leadership skills, and mobilizes them to address issues related to new policies. This project has enabled parents of color and non-English speaking members of the community to be involved in their children's education more actively, and has helped them form their own networks with other community members and organizations. Currently, the project is playing a leadership role to inject a parent, student and community voice into the teacher's union contract negotiation process.

Category

Civil Rights, Social Action & Advocacy, General/Other

Population(s) Served

Children and Youth (infants - 19 years.)

Poor/Economically Disadvantaged, Indigent, General

Ethnic/Racial Minorities -- General

Budget

$201,341.00

Program 3

Children's Law Support Project (CLSP)

CLSP has three components: a) Helpline- Over 900 parents and others call annually to assist a child who is being denied their rights under the special education law or who needs assistance for a school exclusion issue. MAC provides advice, intensive technical assistance or legal case representation; b) Statewide legal services advocacy and support- MAC coordinates a statewide legal and legislative agenda on behalf of vulnerable low income children, including those who are homeless, at risk of school expulsion, or have mental illness. The priority legislative agenda item is to keep kids in school by reducing the impact of zero tolerance policies that expel or suspend students; and c) Pro-bono network. MAC has a pro bono partnership with the law firm, DLA Piper, which takes numerous individual cases and assists on systemic advocacy projects. MAC also recruits other attorneys from the private bar and provides all pro bono attorneys and others with training and technical assistance.

Category

Civil Rights, Social Action & Advocacy, General/Other

Population(s) Served

Poor/Economically Disadvantaged, Indigent, General

Poor/Economically Disadvantaged, Indigent, General

Children and Youth (0 - 19 years)

Budget

$107,126.00

Program 4

Statewide Special Education

MAC has become the leading advocate in the state protecting the rights of students with disabilities, conducting effective legislative and administrative advocacy, developing training curricula to empower parents, convening a statewide coalition, and mobilizing parents and advocates to defend special education. MAC's legislative successes over the years resulted in many new provisions in the law, for example: requiring school districts to establish special education PACs (Parent Advisory Councils); strengthening parents' independent evaluation rights; establishing an MCAS appeals process for students with disabilities; and establishing rights of parents and their experts to observe their child's classroom. MAC currently convenes and staffs a Collaborative of the major special education stakeholders in the state who have agreed to work together on a number of priorities, including improving transition planning, services and opportunities for youth with disabilities, age 14-22.

Category

Civil Rights, Social Action & Advocacy, General/Other

Population(s) Served

Children and Youth (0 - 19 years)

Other Named Groups

Budget

$105,780.00

Program 5

Trauma and Learning Policy Initiative

TLPI is a partnership between MAC and Harvard Law School. Its mission is to ensure that all children traumatized by exposure to family violence and other adverse childhood experiences succeed in school. To reach this goal, TLPI advocates for trauma-sensitive school environments with individual supports. This groundbreaking initiative works at three levels. First, through the Harvard Law Clinic, it provides individual case advocacy for children who have had traumatic experiences. Second, it works with individual schools to help them become trauma-sensitive environments where children impacted by trauma can focus, behave, and learn. Finally, the project mobilizes parents and educators to bring the voice of traumatized children to the legislative and executive branches where policy is being made. For example, TLPI played a leadership role in a state report and currently to support legislation that recommends all schools adopt a "safe and supportive schools" framework by 2017.

Category

Education, General/Other

Population(s) Served

Children and Youth (infants - 19 years.)

Poor/Economically Disadvantaged, Indigent, General

Other Named Groups

Budget

$286,318.00

Program 6

Boston Special Education Transition (B-SET) Project

The Boston Special Education Transition (B-SET) Project is an initiative of Massachusetts Advocates for Children (MAC). B-SET's goal is to increase employment, career, and independent living opportunities for Boston's youth with disabilities. The objectives of the project are three-fold: Increase community awareness and knowledge - among youth, parents and community organizations - of transition rights and strategies for students under the special education law and of ways to empower parents and youth to participate in the transition process.Improve transition planning and services for Boston students with disabilities age 14-22 so they will stay in school and exit special education prepared for further education, employment, and independent living.Provide opportunities for Boston students with disabilities to more fully integrate into the mainstream of career and workforce development opportunities.

Category

Civil Rights, Social Action & Advocacy, General/Other

Population(s) Served

Other Named Groups

College Aged (18-26 years)

Other Named Groups

Budget

$100,000.00

Service Areas

Self-reported

Massachusetts

MAC conducts statewide legislative and administrative advocacy. Our Helpline is called on behalf of children by parents and others from all over the state. We provide training to parents and professionals throughout the state. MAC has a historic and on-going advocacy focus with the Boston Public Schools. We also have specific projects in certain locales, currently in Lawrence, Brockton, Plymouth County and Somerville.

Funding Needs

1. In order to provide more low-income families with needed advocacy, we need to expand the number of pro bono advocates and attorneys. 2. Working with communities that face cultural and language barriers requires intensive commitment of resources. 3. While MAC has the advantage of many funders such that the largest grant is less than 15% of our overall budget, our individual programs do sometimes rely on large grants. Thus all of our programs need to expand and diversify their funding bases. Our Autism Center and Statewide Special Education project needs more funding to expand its legal and management capacity. The Children's Law Support Project and Boston School Reform Project need to diversify their funding to reduce reliance on one major source. 4. We need board members who bring strong corporate and/or fundraising capacity. 5. In order to grow programmatically, we will need to enhance our visibility and build capacity to conduct more unrestricted fundraising- holding events and cultivating individual donors - as well as increase our management infrastructure

Affiliations + Memberships

United Way Member Agency

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Financials

Financial information is an important part of gauging the short- and long-term health of the organization.

MASSACHUSETTS ADVOCATES FOR CHILDREN INC
Fiscal year: Jan 01-Dec 31
Yes, financials were audited by an independent accountant.

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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

Massachusetts Advocates for Children, Inc.

Leadership

NEED MORE INFO ON THIS NONPROFIT?

Free: Gain immediate access to the following:
  • Address, phone, website and contact information
  • Forms 990 for 2014, 2014 and 2013
  • Board Chair and Board Members
  • Access to the GuideStar Community
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Principal Officer

Mr. Jerry Mogul

BIO

Jerry Mogul has been the executive director of Massachusetts Advocates for Children since January 2003, growing the organization by over 75%, increasing its visibility and stabilizing and strengthening its finances, organization and programs. Prior to his hiring, he had a background of 25 years in the public and non-profit sector in Massachusetts as a community leader engaged in advocacy, planning, development and community education for children and youth. He initiated citywide projects in Boston and Springfield that received national recognition. In Springfield during the 1980s, he conducted an assessment of the public health department, initiated one of the first peer education program for teenagers in the state, initiated an innovative citywide community education program for children and youth focusing on substance abuse and child abuse, headed up a citywide coalition to prevent teen pregnancy and infant mortality, and chaired the local office of the state Office for Children, also serving as the vice-chair of its statewide advisory council. In Boston, he initiated and managed the citywide, neighborhood-based Healthy Boston project; led successful writing teams that secured multi-million federal grants on infant mortality, substance abuse treatment and violence prevention; headed the interagency Citywide Strategy for Youth Development to improve youth status and services through, among other activities, the first annual survey of Boston youth, two symposia bringing together academicians, practitioners and youth, and a public education campaign to improve parent-teen communication; and served as the deputy director of the Mayor's Office of Community Partnership. He published articles in the field of community coalition-building and has extensive public speaking experience. He received a bachelor's degree in sociology from Brandeis University in 1970 and a master's degree in public health from the University of Massachusetts in 1979.

STATEMENT FROM THE Principal Officer

"MAC is a very special organization; it is a privilege and an honor for me to be its executive director. When planning for our 40th anniversary celebration in 2009, we wrote a more poetic way to convey our signature multi-strategic approach. MAC conducts its child advocacy through the… Eyes of a child: It is the child first and foremost who suffers the pain of exclusion and the loss of his or her potential. MAC's individual case advocacy puts the child at the center of our systemic advocacy to change conditions for many. Individual cases inform MAC, helping us to understand how systems are impacting individual children and their families, and grounding our ability to bring the child's voice to the administration, the legislature, and the courts. Heart of a parent: Parents, the primary advocates of their child, have a unique ability to see the world through their child's eyes. It is the parents who will move heaven and earth to get the right supports their child needs to succeed. It is from their hearts that all advocacy begins, that communities are mobilized and that laws are enacted. MAC empowers parents with skills and support through training, technical assistance and legal advice and representation to be strong and passionate advocates for their children's rights. Caring of community: We must support all children in the community as our own. MAC's coalition building and leadership development is designed to mobilize communities to advocate on behalf of the children and families we serve. Schools are one example of a community to nurture children and help them thrive. MAC supports inclusive and trauma-sensitive schools as such models. MAC works closely with coalitions, parent groups, and professionals to help schools become supportive, connected communities where ALL children can focus, behave appropriately and achieve at their highest potential. Laws of the land: MAC uses the legal process to help establish, expand and protect educational and other rights for vulnerable children, like the thousands of children who were excluded from Boston schools in the 1960s and the thousands more who are still excluded from educational opportunity statewide today. "

Governance

BOARD CHAIR

Mr. Matthew Iverson Esq.

DLA Piper LLP (US)

Term: Sept 2015 - Aug 2016

BOARD LEADERSHIP PRACTICES

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BOARD ORIENTATION & EDUCATION

Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations?


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CEO OVERSIGHT

Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year?


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ETHICS & TRANSPARENCY

Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year?


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BOARD COMPOSITION

Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership?


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BOARD PERFORMANCE

Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years?