By Andy Levine

Judy Cockerton’s life changed dramatically when she became a foster parent at 48. She and her husband Arthur took on the responsibility of raising two sisters aged five months and seventeen months – along with their own two kids who were 12 and 18 at the time. And for the first time she saw how flawed the child welfare system was in her home state of Massachusetts — and in America.

She developed a really simple idea to improve the system. Let’s bring together adoptive families and their children with a group of caring elders. And let’s have them live together in the same neighborhood.

So she created an organization called The Treehouse Foundation. She worked closely with the Massachusetts Department of Children and Families. She found a developer and helped secure $15 million in state and federal funding. And she focused on building a model community that supports adoptive families.

I spent a day at the Treehouse Community in Easthampton, Massachusetts with Judy and five Treehouse Elders. It’s an amazing story!

Second Act Stories is a podcast that shares the stories of people who have made major career changes to pursue more rewarding lives in a second act. You can subscribe on iTunes, Stitcher, Spotify, GooglePlus or wherever you get your podcasts.