American Academy of Pediatrics' New Policy Statement

Read the American Academy of Pediatrics' (AAP) offical statement on religiously-motivated medical neglect in the journal Pediatrics, published on October 28, 2013. The online version of this arcile, along with updated information and services can be found here. Titled "Conflicts Between Religious or Spiritual Beliefs and Pediatic Care: Informed Refusal, Exemptions, and Public Funding" this policy statement is one of the AAP's strongest statements on the subject to date.

Although respect for parents’decision-making authority is an important principle, pediatricians should report suspected cases of medical neglect, and the state should, at times, intervene to require medical treatment of children. Some parents’ reasons for refusing medical treatment are based on their religious or spiritual beliefs. In cases in which treatment is likely to prevent death or serious disability or relieve severe pain, children’s health and future autonomy should be protected. Because religious exemptions to child abuse and neglect laws do not equally protect all children and may harm some children by causing confusion about the duty to provide medical treatment, these exemptions should be repealed. Furthermore, public health care funds should not cover alternative unproven religious or spiritual healing practices. Such payments may inappropriately legitimize these practices as appropriate medical treatment. Pediatrics2013;132:962–965

Read the entire Policy Statement by the American Academy of Pediatrics on their website

Cherishing Every Child this Holiday Season 
Stop the Hurt. Donate to MassKids Today!

Please take just a few minutes from your busy holiday schedule to listen to a brief message from Senator Elizabeth Warren that speaks to the critical problem of child sexual abuse and MassKids’ leadership in addressing an issue which the American Medical Association has called “a silent, violent epidemic.” We also invite you to hear an inspiring and uplifting song performed by Framingham children at our recent Summit to Prevent Child Sexual Abuse in Schools and Youth Organizations. "Stop the hurt before it starts, we don't need more broken hearts," they sing. They remind us that children look to us - their parents, relatives, teachers, and other caring adults - to protect them from abuse and exploitation.

MassKids has been an effective advocate for our state’s most vulnerable children for over half a century. We hope you will help support MassKids today with your holiday gift so that we can continue the critical work to prevent child abuse across our state and communities.

“Why can’t we cherish every child?” the children sing. Let’s show them we do by stopping the hurt, before it starts.

P.S. For the lyrics of this song, please click here.


Thank you to everyone that supported the
Prevention Summit on November 19th and
helped make it a success!

*Coming Soon!*

Videotaped portions of the Summit, including the Opening Remarks, Senator Elizabeth Warren's video message, and one of the ten workshops - Doing the Right Thing - are available for viewing on our Facebook page! More video and audio recordings will be available soon, stay tuned!

*Leaning Circle to be Launched*

MassKids is establishing an on-line Learning Circle for Summit participants and other interested school and youth-serving organization members to continue the dialogue and sharing of resources that were a hallmark of the Prevention Summit. To join this peer support and resource exchange opportunity please email us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and ask about becoming a member - we will contact you when the Learning Community is launched in early January!


In Memoriam

Katharine D. Kane

In deep gratitude for her over 30 years of dedicated
service on the MassKids Board of Directors.

Kathy's Obituary in the Boston Globe can be read here.

Kathy's service was held Wednesday, October 16, 2013
at The Church of St. John the Evangelist.
The service program is available here.

If you would like to make a donation to support our work in Kathy's honor please go here for more information; her family will be notified of all such donations.

News from the Coalition to Reform Sex Abuse Laws (CORSAL):

Your Action on SOL Reform Needed Today!

In a strategic effort to move civil Statute of Limitations (SOL) reform forward, Senator Brownsberger yesterday personally reached out to his Senate colleagues to urge them to add their names to a letter that he and Rep. Lawn have drafted. The letter urges Senate President Murray and House Speaker DeLeo to shepherd SOL bills S. 63 and H.1455 out of Committee and on to the Senate and House floors for a vote. Within hours, 30 of 40 Senators had already signed the letter. Rep. Lawn is reaching out to his House colleagues and expects strong support as well.

Your voice needs to be heard today. Call your legislators and urge them to add their names to the letter. If they have already done so, thank them and encourage them to ask their colleagues to do the same. (Because Sen. Brownsberger and Rep. Lawn are reaching out personally to their colleagues, legislative aides may not yet be aware of this effort. You should know this, in case aides tell you they have not seen such a letter.) The letter will be sent to Speaker DeLeo and Senate President Murray on July 31 just before the August recess. It may be publicly released to the media at that time. Make sure your legislators’ names are on it.

Tell them that survivors and advocates intend to take the issue of SOL reform to the mat. We expect them to take it to the Floor and vote to abolish or retroactively extend the civil SOL. Survivors deserve justice and our children deserve action now. Thanks and check CORSAL's website or Facebook page for regular updates!

Thank you,