Casey Family Services To Close After 36 Years
by Melissa Bailey | Jun 26, 2012 6:28 pm
Posted to: Business/ Economic Development, Social Services
The Annie E. Casey Foundation is shutting down its foster care agency headquartered in downtown New Haven, cutting loose dozens of local workers over the next year.
The agency, founded in 1976, provides foster care services to 400 children under state contracts in Maryland, Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont.
The foundation has decided to shut down Casey Family Services and instead take another approach to helping kids in foster care, according to Lisa Hamilton, the foundation’s vice president of external affairs. Instead of directly providing foster care, the foundation will provide grants to other agencies and teach them best practices in foster care, Hamilton said.
“CFS has been a leader in the field’s movement toward finding permanent families for youth in foster care,” the release states. “The agency has also excelled in serving older youth and high-needs children through effective recruitment of stable, nurturing foster families, by providing intensive counseling and other supports, and through careful planning to transition these youth to adulthood. The Foundation’s new strategy will help take these lessons to a broader scale and spread the kinds of best practices that CFS has demonstrated and championed for 36 years.”
The foundation was funding Casey Family Services with a $34 million annual grant, Hamilton said.
A total of 280 workers in six states will lose their jobs because of the new strategy, according to the foundation. Spokesman Norris West refused to say the number of workers in New Haven, except that it was fewer than 50.
Workers will be phased out over the next year. Over the next six months, the agency will find new foster care providers for the 400 kids it its care, Hamilton said. Some workers will stay on to handle any lingering cases; all workers will be laid off by June 30, 2013. Hamilton said all employees will be offered “generous severance packages” and support in finding other work, retiring or going back to school.
That means the foundation will cease using its downtown office, which sits in a prominent, glassy, four-story building at the corner of Church and Chapel. The foundation owns the building; spokesman West declined to say what the foundation plans to do with it.
In the press statement, Patrick T. McCarthy, trustee and president and CEO of the Casey Foundation, said “we regret” the layoffs.
“As the human services environment changes, we see an opportunity to help strengthen the work of frontline staff who often make life and death decisions on behalf of vulnerable children and families. We are proud of the contributions Casey Family Services has made in supporting families, working with foster parents, collaborating with public agencies, and providing outstanding care to children. This success is due to a skilled and dedicated staff and we deeply regret the impact this transition will have on them,” he said.
“We will honor the legacy of CFS and its people by continuing to work diligently to build better futures for children and families across the country.”
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I am sorry to people lose jobs,
BUT>> my wife and I have been foster parents in CT for years, and the quality of social workers at CFS and the services provided the children and foster families is SUBSTANDARD. I am no fan of DCF and their employees, but have had to take Casey into court to get them to provide required services to children in our care.
The straw that broke the camel’s back and has caused us to refuse any children placed by Casey was when the Casey social worker and supervisor refused to help get a child’s IEP (Individual Education Plan, Special Ed) as the child would ONLY be in our home 5 months, and if the stay was less than six months Casey could not be bothered. So what if the child’s educational needs were unmet for 5 months? Luckily, a Family Court judge felt otherwise.
mm, your comment was very interesting. After reading about CFS’ exit plan, my first inclination was to wonder “Does this have anything to do with a lawsuit?”. Ct has a history of Consent Decree to improve DCF services to children, and I would expect that DCF has been using Casey under some sort of contract. There must be more to this story.