GRAND Magazine - May/June 2013 - (Page 36-37)

amazing third acts Judy Cockerton: Foster parent and innovator one woman’s midlife quest to re-envision and reinvent foster care W hen Judy Cockerton first entered the world Photo credit: ©arthur cockerton BY richard J. anthonY, sr. So Judy sold her business to ad- of child welfare in 1999, she was the found- vocate for America’s 800,000 foster ing owner of two successful specialty toy kids. In 2002, she founded the Tree- stores, the mother of two teenagers, and 48 years house Foundation, a nonprofit orga- old. After reading an article about the plight of chil- nization that “seeks to impact child dren in the public foster-care system, Judy and her welfare practice and promote public investment in our Arthur, Judy, Jesse, Lila (daughter-in-law), and Brianna husband Arthur, son Jesse, and daughter Jenna be- most vulnerable children through the development of (front) Cockerton, and Jeannie (Judy’s sister, front) came a foster family to two sisters, ages 5 months innovative programs and practices . . . rooted in fam- and 17 months. Eventually, they adopted the younger ily and community, and to cultivate collaborations and cottages for people age 55+, who support the families girl, Brianna. initiatives that support this goal.” as “honorary grandparents.” But Judy felt compelled to do more. “It was so Judy’s first triumph, in 2006, was the development of “Having the older generation actively involved in dismal,” Judy recalls. “These children had social Treehouse at Easthampton Meadow, Massachusetts—a our community is very important because grandpar- workers and professionals advocating for them. But multigenerational planned community whose partners ents fill a need youngsters have for stability and self- I didn’t see a lot of regular folks out there in the include arts organizations, social services agencies, and less love. They’re an indispensable safety net for our world saying, ‘These children placed in the public even the local rowing club. The innovative community kids,” Judy says. foster system are worthy of our investment and our has 60 rental homes: 12 townhouses for families who attention.’” have adopted or plan to adopt foster children and 48 36 GRAND MAY JUNE 2013 So far, Treehouse Easthampton has provided a permanent home for more than 50 former foster MAY JUNE 2013 GRAND 37

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of GRAND Magazine - May/June 2013

GRAND Magazine - May/June 2013
Slaying Dragons
You’ve Come a Long Way, Granny
Electrical Safety
Let’s Pretend
The Grandest Gift
Born Free’s Virginia McKenna
My Aging Brain
Judy Cockerton: Foster parent and innovator
10 Best Story Books for Babies & Toddlers
Grand Expectations
Fun Toys for Kids of All Ages
Annuities Simplified
News, Products, Tips, and Resources for Today’s Grandparents
Sure Cure for Senior-Time Blues
It’s a Wonderful Life
When a Child Is Removed from the Parents’ Home

GRAND Magazine - May/June 2013