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Mission / Values



MAC’s 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 40 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.


Massachusetts Advocates for Children has identified two sets of values, these include our:

Guiding Principles

  1. All children must have rights, encoded in law and incorporated in public policy, that enable them to reach their fullest potential.
  2. Every child has strengths and the capacity to reach his or her fullest potential.
  3. Public policy, law and services must be designed to build upon those strengths and meet the needs of each individual child.
  4. Public institutions have the obligation to ensure legal rights and deliver high quality services, enabling children to realize their rights and reach their potential.
  5. Parents and families must be supported to have the full capacity to nurture and advocate for their children.
  6. Our work recognizes that many children have long faced and continue to face significant barriers to success and well-being because of their race/ethnicity, class, language, gender, sexual orientation and/or disability. In addition, other children also face obstacles because of life circumstances, such as being exposed to violence or being raised in families which cannot provide them with a safe and nurturing environment.
  7. Our work is guided by a commitment to diversity and affirmative action, in relationship to our staff, board, clients and volunteers.
  8. Education is the central societal activity that will enable children to grow up and become self-sufficient adults.
  9. All children must be expected and challenged to achieve in school at high standards.
  10. Children are more likely to thrive and develop appropriately if they receive the earliest possible intervention for educational, health or other difficulties they face.

Organizational Approach

  1. We focus our attention on the most vulnerable children in order to ensure the rights of all. We prioritize low-income individuals, groups and communities to receive our advocacy services.
  2. We advocate for services to be tailored to the unique needs of each child, so that (s)he can reach her or his fullest potential.
  3. In order to bring about change, MAC acts to hold public institutions accountable to meet their legal and moral obligations to the children they serve. Our efforts are two-fold: to strengthen progressive legislative mandates and to close the gap between legal entitlements and actual service delivery
  4. To do so, MAC employs a broad range of strategies, including case advocacy, coalition-building, collaboration, training, technical assistance, policy analysis, research, report writing, administrative and legislative advocacy, and, when necessary, litigation. Each project we undertake combines many of these strategies in order to increase effectiveness and get results.
  5. MAC prioritizes systems change - through legislative, regulatory, administrative or legal remedies - in order to have the greatest impact affecting the most children.
  6. We choose advocacy strategies and policy directions based on the needs of individual children that emerge from our intake, casework, collaborations and community outreach.
  7. We believe in empowering parents and young people to advocate on their own behalf, by providing them with knowledge and skills.
  8. We also leverage our resources by building the capacity of individuals (e.g., attorneys, community leaders) and organizations (e.g., faith-based, community based) to advocate for parents and children.
  9. Our activities, strategies and programs are designed to lead to results, even if it takes a long time. We are guided by principle, but are flexible and pragmatic, in order to accomplish change.
  10. We are independent and do not accept funding from public institutions that would create a conflict-of-interest and compromise the effectiveness of our advocacy.



For over 40 years, MAC has responded to the needs of children who are vulnerable because of poverty, race, limited English or disability and does not intend to stop. With education reform continuing to occupy a high priority on the state’s policy agenda, and with the severe economic crisis facing Massachusetts families, MAC is needed now, more than ever.

Pictured above: Devin Hughes, a client of MAC.

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