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Thousands of children annually are separated from their families by the Massachusetts child welfare system — and 400,000 kids nationally.

In most cases, it is not due to abuse, but for issues related to poverty, mental illness or disability. 



For more than 50 years, the Massachusetts Department of Children and Families (DCF) has been called a broken system and ranked with the worst of state child welfare systems.

“It’s time to burn [DCF] to the ground,”
wrote Bella English in the Boston Globe in 1992.

“The Department of Children and Families is broken,” 
said Michael Dsida, of the state public counsel’s office in 2023. 

Meanwhile, no media organization has done an investigative examination of the $1.4 billion Massachusetts child welfare system and what can be done to keep children safe — and families together.

Until now!




Broken is a landmark documentary film, companion book, and educational and community outreach campaign aimed at creating a national dialogue about the failed child welfare system in Massachusetts — and nationally.  

The best and brightest minds in child welfare and juvenile law have long called for sweeping changes to the Massachusetts child welfare system, and its disproportionate racial and socio-economic targeting, but they’ve never been united before in an effort to bring about awareness and changes.

Until now

The time is now to put a stop to the punishing, traumatizing, and failing child welfare systems. 

Broken is a chance to make real changes — and save lives!

But it can’t be done without you! 

Please support this landmark non-profit effort to examine the failed child welfare, foster care, and juvenile court systems with a tax-deductible donation now — and save lives!

Associated Members

Bill Lichtenstein


We are grateful for the generous support of our sponsors:

Massachusetts Cultural Council
Lowel Cultural Council
Cabot Family Charitable Trust
Liberty Mutual Foundation
City of Boston Arts and Culture