Maria Mossaides: Lisa Anne Jenkins MAFF Policy Maker of the Year Award Winner
Established in 2009, The Lisa Anne Jenkins MAFF Policy Maker of the Year Award honors the life and work of Lisa Anne Jenkins, a strong, tenacious, and effective advocate.
Lisa Anne was a dedicated foster parent and active MAFF member who left an indelible mark on her community and those she loved. Along with her husband Wayne E. Lanphear, Lisa raised her two children, ran her own business and provided a loving home to 27 foster children, each of whom held a special place in her heart. In addition, she was a member of the Wachusett School Committee, a CASA case worker, a family resource liaison with Kid's Net, a charter member of "Fresh Start", and a MAFF representative serving the Worcester West region
In tribute to her legacy, MAFF recognizes an individual who shares her commitment to prevention of child abuse and neglect and to improving the lives of children in DCF care. MAFF is pleased to announce that Maria Mossaides, the Child Advocate for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, will be honored as this year’s recipient.
In the nearly four decades that span her career, Maria has held many key positions in and out of state government. In each of those roles and to this day, her passion for and dedication to advancing the health and wellbeing of children has always been at the center of her work and her life. Maria is a tireless advocate who is respected for her keen intellect and her unquestioned integrity and is beloved for her ready smile, her kindness and her grace. She is a skilled attorney, a dynamic educator and a proud and involved mother and Yiayia.
Maria has been a leader in the delivery of comprehensive foster care, having served as Executive Director of Cambridge Family and Children’s Services. She is a trusted advisor and ally to MAFF in our work to improve the foster care system and outcomes for DCF involved children and youth. MAFF is pleased to acknowledge her highly accomplished career of service to children with this honor.
Melissa Anderson: Goldie Rogers Award Winner
The Goldie Rogers Award for Outstanding Foster Parents has been awarded every year since 1987. The award was established in memory of Mrs. Rogers, a foster parent, who died in a tragic house fire. Each year, in her memory, one or more foster parents who exemplify her spirit of commitment to foster parenting, are chosen to receive the award.
The recipient of the Goldie Rogers award is a person who believes in the priority of family as the basis for children’s well being and is an example of that sense of family to the larger community, is committed to other children’s issues in addition to foster care (e.g. education, health, child care, etc.), advocates for children’s needs through legislative or community involvement, and inspires other foster parents and non-fostering adults into active support of children’s issues.
This year's winner, Melissa Anderson, has been an Unrestricted Foster Parent for more than twelve years and has provided a warm, loving, and nurturing home for over 60 foster children. Melissa is a person who has dedicated her life to some of the youngest members of our community through her work as both a foster parent and as a childcare provider. In addition, Melissa has provided permanency through adoption for three of the foster children who came through her door. Melissa’s passion and enthusiasm for caring for children is contagious and she has used this to help recruit and mentor new foster parents. She has served as a Family Resource Liaison, a Foster Parent Ambassador, a MAFF representative and a MAPP Foster Parent Trainer. Melissa has proven to be an invaluable asset for her area office and is most deserving of the distinguished Goldie Rogers Award.