Our Mission

The mission of Kids Matter Inc. is to help abused and neglected children heal and thrive, to bring volunteer energy and community support to foster and kinship children, and to apply lessons learned from helping children heal to preventing further child abuse.

Who We Are

We are people like you who want to restore opportunity to our abused and neglected youth in Milwaukee. We are parents and concerned citizens of all kinds – foster and kinship parents, birth parents and grandparents, child welfare professionals, health care providers, attorneys, the juvenile justice community – anyone with an interest in the best interests of our children. We are a small grassroots organization that puts volunteer energy into our neediest kids.

Why We Exist

Kids Matter Inc. was founded in 2000, inspired by the compelling need to improve the lives of the many Milwaukee County children involved in the child welfare system. Far too many of these children are not thriving or finding permanent, loving homes. Youth in foster and kinship care

  • have the worst health status of any population of children in America;
  • drop out of high school at twice the national rate;
  • are 12 times more likely to end up homeless than other young adults.

Today, one in ten children are being raised without either parent in the home. For every child in foster care with relatives, there are 20 being raised by grandparents or other relatives outside of the foster care system.

If our abused and neglected children were brought together in one place, they would fill a small city. Yet they are almost invisible to the broader community. If you care, we can change that.


Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA)
Fostering Healing
Fostering Hope Packages
Previous slide
Next slide

Honors and Awards


Barbara Stein Building Bridges Award
National Council of Jewish Women – Milwaukee Section


Top Nonprofit
Great Nonprofits®


Seal of Excellence
America’s Best Charities


Points of Light Inspiration Honor Roll: Diane Irish
Points of Light Foundation

Platinum Seal of Transparency in Organizational Best Practices
Candid (formerly GuideStar™)

All Children – All Families Certification
Human Rights Campaign Foundation

Staff Attorney elected to Executive Committee
Civil Legal Aid Alliance of Wisconsin


Staff Attorney Beth Lauck elected Chair, Children and the Law Section of the Wisconsin State Bar Association

ED Conwell appointed to Legislative Council Study Committee on Public Disclosure and Oversight of Child Abuse and Neglect Incidents


Conwell appointed to Legislative Council Study Committee on Minor Guardianship (resulted in new law for minor guardianships, effective Aug 2020)

Conwell reappointed member of Attorney General’s Children in Need Task Force

Lance Jones reappointed to DCF Secretary’s Advisory Council


Support and Empowerment of Children in Our Community Award
Guardians of the Children – HAWG City Chapter


Volunteer Advocate of the Year Award: Vickie Clyde Vruno
Wisconsin CASA Association


Congressional Foster Youth Shadow & Outstanding Young Leader: Amanda Salas
Foster Club


Governor’s Foster Care Youth Award: Devon Thompson
Office of the Governor of Wisconsin

Hometown Hero Award
Modern Woodmen of America

Milwaukee Volunteers of the Month Award
Nonprofit Center of Milwaukee— Volunteer Center


Wisconsin Cares About Kids Award
Office of the Governor of Wisconsin & Wisconsin State Public Defender’s Office

Pro Bono Attorney of the Year Award
State Bar of Wisconsin


Champion of Victim’s Rights Award (for support of child victims)
Office of the Wisconsin Attorney General & Wisconsin Department of Justice

Black Excellence Award for Child Advocacy
Milwaukee Times


Women in Law Award
Wisconsin Law Journal

Wisconsin Victim Services Award
Wisconsin Department of Corrections (Office for Victim Services)