Maryland Nonprofits is proud to be the home of the Maryland Association of Resources for Families and Youth (MARFY).
Maryland Association of Resources for Families and Youth

MARFY is an association of private child caring organizations providing foster care, group homes, and other services through more than 200 programs across Maryland. MARFY advocates on behalf of the provider community through its lobbyist in Annapolis and its member-led coalitions to improve the state’s system of care for the youth and families it serves. MARFY has furthered legislative interests such as rate-setting, labor laws, foster care and placement regulations, and procurement issues and is now considered the “go-to” group for state officials seeking provider input on the system of care in Maryland.


MARFY empowers the provider community to advocate for a system of care in Maryland that meets the needs of children and families.


Youth and families that experience the child caring system in Maryland are empowered and supported with a flexible, responsive system that enables their long-term success.


Relationships Matter

Children and youth need support to cultivate and develop long-term relationships and trust in order to take steps toward their own long-term well-being.

Family and Youth-Centered System of Care

Services are family-driven and youth guided, empower their voice and reflect their values.

The Voice of Providers

The voice of providers is critical in order to achieve a high-quality system of care.

The System of Care is Responsible for Long-Term Success

The system of care needs to attend to the needs of children and families throughout transitions in care and into their young adulthood.



Utilize evidence, data, and research to improve the system of care.
  1. Advocate for the state to commission an independent study of the impact of the current child caring system on youth, with attention to safety, well-being, and health.
  2. Follow national and state research and data to inform providers, state agencies and policymakers about the best practices and how best to promote them in Maryland.
Achieve greater effectiveness and efficiency in the way that provider agencies are funded and regulated.
  1. Explore options for reform of the funding mechanisms for “money follows the youth” and other models that will enable long-term relationships and greater well-being.
  2. Collect and address “micro-cases” of bureaucratic issues that cause unnecessary strain on children/families and on providers and address them collectively through advocacy.
Give voice to children and families to enable the system to be more responsive to their needs.
  1. Gather stories and other input from children and families to share how they feel the system of care can be improved.
  2. Explore multi-media communications to raise their voices.
  3. Promote improvements to the system of care based on the input of children and families.
Enable Maryland’s community of service providers to network, share information, and build their capacity for excellence.
  1. Hold conference, workshops, and events that promote the good work of providers, enable providers to network with each other and with the state and promote youth achievement.
  2. Provide forums to take collective action and share information through coalitions and online forums.
  3. Ensure sustainability through partnerships, increasing member benefits, grant and sponsor support, and making dues more affordable.


As a program of Maryland Nonprofits, the MARFY Executive Council provides guidance and advice to the governing Board of Directors of Maryland Nonprofits related to MARFY member programming. The Executive Council is comprised of the highest-ranking staff person at each membership organization that wishes to be represented. All members of MARFY may be represented on the Council. For more information about the Executive Council, please contact Keron Sadler.

Keron R.  Sadler

Keron R. Sadler

Executive Director

Maryland Association of Resources for Families and Youth
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Steve Acerno

Steve Acerno


The Arc Northern Chesapeake Region
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Ralph D. Belk, LICSW, LCSW-C

Ralph D. Belk, LICSW, LCSW-C


National Center for Children and Families (NCCF)
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Chloe Perez

Chloe Perez

Policy Co-Chair

Hearts and Homes for Youth
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Robert Basler

Robert Basler

Policy Co- Chair

Arrow Child & Family Ministries
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Ashley Willis

Ashley Willis


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