Catholic Charities to transfer adoption services

BOSTON — Catholic Charities announced April 28 that in cooperation with the Massachusetts Department of Social Services (DSS), the agency will transition its adoption management services program to Child & Family Services, Inc. based in New Bedford.

Child & Family Services is the oldest and second largest adoption services agency in Massachusetts and has partnered with DSS in providing adoption management services through its Older Children and Special Needs Adoption Program for many years. Child & Family Services will establish a new office in Lawrence where services are currently provided by Merrimack Valley Catholic Charities, a community service center of Catholic Charities of Boston. Catholic Charities’ adoption staff will have the opportunity to make the transition to Child & Family Services.

Until June 30 — when placement services will officially transition to Child & Family Services — Catholic Charities’ staff will continue to work with the children and families on their caseload, with the ultimate goal of finding safe, loving and nurturing homes. Throughout the transition, the priority of both agencies will continue to be to serve and protect the children in their care.

“We chose Child & Family Services because we already collaborate with the agency in providing a number of adoption services,” said Father J. Bryan Hehir, president of Catholic Charities for the Archdiocese of Boston. “Child & Family Services is willing to absorb our staff and the caseload of waiting children and families they serve. We are confident in the agency’s ability to successfully transition our program and clients without any interruption in care. Catholic Charities is committed to ensuring that no child will be abandoned in this process.”

Child & Family Services has a 162-year history with a strong commitment to adoption. In addition to its Older Children and Special Needs Adoption Program, the agency provides infant adoption services to both birth and adoptive parents, training and support to pre-adoptive families and post-adoption services.

“Child & Family Services has a long and distinguished history in providing adoption services in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts,” said John Jackson, executive director of Child & Family Services. “We have collaborated with Catholic Charities in the past and are pleased to assume responsibility for the families with whom they work.”

“We are deeply appreciative to both Child & Family Services and Catholic Charities for their commitment to children and families,” said Harry Spence, commissioner of the Massachusetts Department of Social Services. “Catholic Charities is known for its work with special needs adoption placements, which would not be possible without a dedicated and talented staff. We are grateful that staff members will have the opportunity to continue their work through Child & Family Services.”

Currently, Child & Family Services and Catholic Charities of Boston partner in providing post-adoption services, which includes Adoption Journeys, in the Merrimack Valley, North Shore and metro Boston areas. In addition, Child & Family Services partners with Catholic Charities Greater Boston, also a community service center of Catholic Charities of Boston, in offering infant adoption awareness training to health care professionals. These partnerships between Child & Family Services and Catholic Charities will continue. Catholic Charities will also continue to provide birth parent counseling.

Catholic Charities provides many programs and services across Eastern Massachusetts, including basic needs services, child care and after-school programs, counseling, parent support services, and refugee and immigration services. Last year, Catholic Charities served more than 200,000 children, teens, families and seniors in need. Many of the agency’s programs operate with the support of DSS.