Human Services

The Home For Little Wanderers

  • Boston, MA
  • http://www.thehome.org

Mission Statement

The Home's mission is to ensure the healthy behavioral, emotional, social and educational development and physical well-being of children and families living in at-risk circumstances. Our mission is achieved by providing an integrated community-based system of direct care services, special education and prevention. In addition, The Home seeks to expand its sphere of influence through advocacy, being a strong voice for all children and families, not just the ones we serve directly.

Main Programs

  1. 1. Community-based Programs
  2. 3. Residential & Special Education
  3. 4. Group Homes
  4. 2. Transitional Programs
  5. 5. Case Management Services

service areas

Massachusetts

Self-reported by organization

Areas Served Narrative

We have program sites in the following cities and towns and serve their surrounding communities: BostonBridgewaterCambridgeNorwoodPlymouthWalpoleWaltham

Self-reported by organization

ruling year

1999

Principal Officer since 2003

Ms. Joan Wallace-Benjamin

Self-reported by organization

Keywords

The Home, child welfare, special education, behavioral health, foster care, residential care, adoption

Self-reported by organization

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EIN

04-2104764

Also Known As

The Home

Contact

Cause Area (NTEE Code)

Children's and Youth Services (P30)

Counseling Support Groups (F60)

Youth Development Programs (O50)

IRS Filing Requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

Programs + Results

How does this organization make a difference?

Impact statement

Top Accomplishments FY15 Three years ago, The Home was one of six agencies in Massachusetts chosen to be part of the Success for Transition Age Youth (STAY) Program and grant. The goal of the grant is to increase utilization of mental health services by young adults within Massachusetts. The first stage of the grant was planning; The Home's charge was to increase the use of Children's Health Behavioral Initiative (CBHI) services for this population. During FY15, The Home was in the implementation phase of the grant. They introduced a new position, Peer Mentors, at their Community Service Agencies (CSAs). Peer Mentors have shared life experience that enables them to connect to young adults and show them how to advocate and help themselves. The STAY grant also created the Youth Advisory Group, which is made up of young adults who want to see a change in their communities, schools, and other aspects of life and want to educate others regarding mental health in young adults. The group meets monthly and has held mental health awareness days including one at the Massachusetts State House. The Home is working collaboratively with the Department of Mental Health to be able to sustain services beyond the four year grant.In the spring of 2015 The Home opened a new program, the Boston-Suffolk County Family Resource Center (FRC). The Home's FRC is part of a state-wide system that replaced the decades old court-based Children in Need of Services (CHINS) system with community-based, family-focused centers all over the commonwealth. Our FRC offers families a way to connect with mental health services in their neighborhood and find additional supports like a school liaison, parenting classes, support groups, and connections to after-school activities. The FRCs also support families with youth who have difficulties with authority, repeatedly running away, consistently truant, or who are being sexually exploited by connecting them with mental health and communities services instead of the judicial system.A focus for The Home has been to create a lifelong connection for each child as they leave The Home. The connection may be with a foster parent, biological family member, or mentor. In FY15, The Home took another step closer in this goal by creating its Connections Program. The program connects a caring adult to an aging out youth to help build a relationship and a support system. The adult helps its match with life experiences like finding a job, apartment, or car, showing youth how to handle their finances, or taking them on college tours. The purpose of the Connections Program is for the youth to have a role model who gives them direction and a place to land. The Home's two therapeutic special education residential schools, Longview Farm (LVF) and Southeast Campus (SEC), were chosen as an Academic School of Excellence by the National Special Education Teachers Association. LVF increased their MCAS passing rate in science from 40% to 69.2%. 40% of the 10th graders at SEC passed MCAS and scored advanced in at least one subject and proficient in the remaining subject areas. SEC added an Equine Science program where students learn how to care for horses on a local farm. The program also serves as a therapeutic service for youth. Its uniqueness and availability has increased the school's elementary enrollment. The campus also expanded its culinary program and now caters events in the community. Goals for FY16 Achieve a 2% in additional language capacity year over year in relevant languages Reduce annual staff turnover rate by 2% Deliver five expert testimonies at State or Federal level 60% of students will achieve show progress in reading every 3 months 65% of school-age children and youth demonstrate improvement in their mental health functioning (by exit) as measured by the Child and Adolescent Functional Assessment Scale - CAFAS 70% of youth in placement will leave with a lifelong connection identified

Programs

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Self-reported by organization

Program 1

1. Community-based Programs

The Home provides an array of clinical and support services throughout Eastern Massachusetts. Children and families receive services in the locations that are most appropriate for their needs: a child's own home, school, or clinic. Community-based programs include: Adoption and Comprehensive Foster CareBoston-Suffolk County Family Resource CenterChild and Family CounselingChildren's Community Support Collaborative Preschool Outreach ProgramSafe at HomeTherapeutic After School Program

Category

Human Services, General/Other

Budget

$16,018,000.00

Population Served

Poor/Economically Disadvantaged, Indigent, General

Children and Youth (0 - 19 years)

Other Named Groups

Program 2

3. Residential & Special Education

Therapeutic residential programs are staff-secure facilities for children and adolescents who have either been removed from their homes due to abuse and neglect, or who have difficulty functioning in the community due to behavioral or mental health concerns. The Home operates two private, state-approved, year-round special education schools for academically and emotionally challenged youth. The schools offer highly structured therapeutic behavior support systems, have small class sizes, a high staff-to-student ratio and support that is tailored to each student's needs and treatment plan. The two facilities are: Southeast Campus, Plymouth - co-ed ages 10 to 18Longview Farm and Clifford School, Walpole - co-ed ages 5 to 18;

Category

Education, General/Other

Budget

$13,824,000.00

Population Served

Children and Youth (0 - 19 years)

Other Named Groups

Program 3

4. Group Homes

Children and adolescents transitioning back to their families, progressing to less restrictive environments or preparing to live independently, frequently need support to make a successful move. The Home operates three group homes providing individualized treatment and services to the youth and their families. Harrington House, Mission Hill - co-ed ages 6 to 12Roxbury House, Roxbury - males ages 14 to 18Waltham House, Waltham - co-ed ages 14 to 18 (GLBTQ population)

Category

Human Services, General/Other

Budget

$4,618,000.00

Population Served

Children and Youth (0 - 19 years)

Program 4

2. Transitional Programs

The Home offers a number of programs for those moving into adulthood who need additional help and resources to further their educational and vocational goals and to prepare them for meaningful lives: Academic Support for College and Life, in partnership with Bridgewater State University, is a college program designed to provide clinical, social, academic, vocational and daily living supports needed by youth aging out of state care and participating in higher education.Young Adult Resource Network (YARN) assists young adults ages 17-22 who are involved with the Department of Children and Families in obtaining stable housing, employment, physical and psychological wellness, and educational and community involvement, while developing supportive relationships. Roxbury Village provides safe, affordable housing for youth who are - or are at risk of being homeless, while helping them to develop critical skills, life plans and connections to community resources.

Category

Human Services, General/Other

Budget

$1,102,000.00

Population Served

College Aged (18-26 years)

Poor/Economically Disadvantaged, Indigent, General

Homeless

Program 5

5. Case Management Services

The Home serves in a coordination capacity for two family-focused programs in Boston. Providing a single point of entry for all services, the programs employ the wraparound approach which places the family at the enter of planning process and builds a team around the family's vision for their child's future. The Hyde Park and Park Street Community Service Agencies serve youth with serious emotional disturbance (SED) who are enrolled in MassHealth Standard or CommonHealth. This program is part of the Massachusetts Children's Behavioral Health Initiative (CBHI).Family Networks (Park Street Area Lead) partners with Park Street Department of Children and Families (DCF). The program works only with clients referred from DCF, acting as a single point of entry for all contracted services identified in the DCF service plan.

Category

Human Services, General/Other

Budget

$3,232,000.00

Population Served

Children and Youth (0 - 19 years)

Other Named Groups

Charting Impact

Five powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

Self-reported by organization

  1. What is the organization aiming to accomplish?
    The Home is committed to creating access to services to ensure at-risk children and families throughout Massachusetts sustain positive mental and physical health while living safely and stably within their community. The Home aims to prepare youth to have the skills they need to successfully transition to adulthood which includes educational and vocational preparedness. We work to ensure every child has a caring adult present to provide lifelong support. Over the next three years, The Home will work towards making these impacts as outlined in our strategic plan, which is built on a foundation of intensive research, data gathering and analysis that informs a holistic and objective perspective of the organization. This data-driven approach and data-based decision making will allow The Home to maximize its impact on the children, families, and communities we serve.
  2. What are the organization's key strategies for making this happen?
    The Home will work toward the impact we want to make in four ways: We will deliver services which impact more than 7,000 lives each year. The services include: adoption and foster care; care coordination; mental health services; special education; therapeutic residences; and transition to adulthood.As a way to improve our service delivery, The Home is focused on additional, quality staff training. Our training focuses are cognitive behavioral therapy, high fidelity wraparound, integrative treatment of complex trauma, motivational interviewing, restorative practices, and therapeutic crisis intervention.We will continue to work as a leader in advocacy, helping shape public policy that affects children and families in the Commonwealth. Our advocacy work is done through coalitions groups, government relations, and education to the public regarding the population we serve.We are only able to work towards making these impacts if we are operating; which is why sustainability is the fourth prong to our strategy. The Home will work towards its sustainability through enhancing access to data, fiscal planning and management, fund development, program evaluation, retention of diverse staff, risk management, and technology support.
  3. What are the organization's capabilities for doing this?
    The Home will be able to make these impacts because of internal and external strengths. Our dedicated Risk Management, Evaluation, & Outcomes (RMEO) department is focused around evaluation and research; organizational performance, risk management, corporate compliance; and health information management. This department analyzes data by program and in aggregate across the agency quarterly. This allows our organization to assess what approaches and services are working and quickly adjust and adapt to new procedures to better serve our clients. RMEO drives agency-wide and program-specific goal setting, the agency's strategic plan, and logic model. This department is in charge of our agency-wide follow-up initiative which tracks discharged children through phone interviews. Information collected through this initiative is used to help determine whether to continue, enhance, or replace treatment interventions and components in programs. It also helps us find unmet needs that could contribute to the development of new services. The Home belongs to many coalitions, organizations, and associations such as The Massachusetts Council of Human Service Providers and The Children's League of Massachusetts. Our partnerships with these groups and others like them allow us to make a greater impact on our target population.
  4. How will they know if they are making progress?
    The Home will know if it is making progress towards our intended impact by using the Providers' Council of Massachusetts Benchmarking system and by achieving the short-term goals laid out in our agency logic model. The benchmarking program enables The Home to measure its performance by providing our quantitative data into the system. It allows us to make data-drive decisions to improve the agency and the services we deliver. The system also allows us to measure ourselves against similar agencies providing like services. Our organization will also know it is making progress as we meet our short-term goals which are broken into three categories: Children & Youth; Families; and Staff.For children & youth, we seek to increase skills for executive functioning and self regulation; increase knowledge of wellness and life skills; increase interpersonal skills; decrease hospitalizations and psychiatric emergencies; decrease disruptive behavior at school and in the community; reduce trauma symptoms; increase time on academic task; increase reading skills of students that are below grade level.Our short-term goals for families are to increase engagement in their child's treatment and education; enhance use of social networks and supports; decrease drop-out and early termination from services.For our staff, we will increase knowledge and skills of evidence-based practices; increase data-based decision making; enhance capacity to meet the needs of diverse client populations.
  5. What have and haven't they accomplished so far?
    The Home has made strides towards our long term goals. In Fiscal Year 2015, The Home was in its implementation phase of the grant it received as part of the Success for Transition Age Youth (STAY) Program. During this phase The Home introduced a new position, Peer Mentors, to work with young adults and teach them how to advocate and help themselves. The organization created the Youth Advisory Group which is made up of young adults who want to make an impact in their communities and educate others regarding mental health. This shows progress towards our long-term goals of giving youth the skills they need to transition to adulthood, sustaining positive mental and physical health in children, and children and youth maintaining nurturing relationships with adults and positive relationships with their peers. We opened a new program, the Boston-Suffolk County Family Resource center which is a step in helping families live safely and stably within their community. Our Special Education schools expanded their vocational curriculum to include equine science, graphic design, culinary arts, and carpentry which will help lead the youth in these programs closer to our goal of educational and vocational preparedness. Working towards our long-term goal of caring adults providing lifelong support to children and youth, The Home established its Connections Program. The Connections Program connects a caring adult with an older youth to create a support system for the young adult and a lifelong connection to help them as they buy their first car, apply to college, find their own apartment, and make their way in the world The Home has made great strides towards its long term goals but it has further to go. As outlined in the 2015-2018 Strategic Plan, The Home needs to collect and use its data more effectively. The organization will engage in more data-driven decision making as it develops more programs and adjusts its service delivery.

service areas

Massachusetts

Self-reported by organization

Areas Served Narrative

We have program sites in the following cities and towns and serve their surrounding communities: BostonBridgewaterCambridgeNorwoodPlymouthWalpoleWaltham

Self-reported by organization

Additional Documents

Funding Needs

General operating funds to support our programs serving children and families living in at-risk circumstances. Support for our Education Vision: to ensure that all the youth we serve will be able to perform academically at grade level and above and be prepared with the vocational and interpersonal skills needed for a job Supporting funds for a new initiative, "Pathways into Careers," integrating workforce development into our educational programming. Financial support for The Home's three "aging out" programs designed to help youth transition from state systems of care to independence, including the pursuit of higher education. Expansion of our Nutrition and Wellness initiative with the goal of teaching children and families how to make healthier choices, a skill that will benefit them long after they leave our care. Emergency funds to assist families we serve who are experiencing hardship and/or financial crisis Continue to strengthen our advocacy work to help shape public policy and funding at the state level that affects youth and at-risk families

Affiliations + Memberships

AFP (Association of Fundraising Professionals)

United Way Member Agency

Child Welfare League - Accredited Member

Children’s League of Massachusetts

Accreditations

External Reviews

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Financials

Financial information is an important part of gauging the short- and long-term health of the organization.

THE HOME FOR LITTLE WANDERERS INC
Fiscal year: Jul 01-Jun 30
Yes, financials were audited by an independent accountant.

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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

The Home For Little Wanderers

Leadership

NEED MORE INFO ON THIS NONPROFIT?

Free: Gain immediate access to the following:
  • Address, phone, website and contact information
  • Forms 990 for 2014, 2014 and 2013
  • Board Chair and Board Members
  • Access to the GuideStar Community
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Principal Officer

Ms. Joan Wallace-Benjamin

BIO

Joan Wallace-Benjamin is President and Chief Executive Officer of The Home for Little Wanderers, the nation's oldest child and family services agency and one of New England's largest. She has been a leader in the field of child welfare for many years, including roles as CEO of The Urban League of Massachusetts and Director of Operations for the Boys and Girls Clubs of Boston. Joan also served as Governor Deval Patrick's Chief of Staff during the early months of his first term. Joan has received awards too numerous to list; a sampling includes: a 2002 Academy of Women Achiever's Award from Boston YWCA; a Humanitarian Award from the National Conference for Community and Justice; an African American Achievement Award in Community Service from Mayor Menino; She holds Honorary Doctorates from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst; Newbury College, Chestnut Hill; Curry College, Milton; Bridgewater State University, Bridgewater; and New England Law-Boston Joan graduated from Wellesley College with a BA in Psychology and received her Ph.D. from the Heller School for Social Policy and Management at Brandeis University. She is a member of the Board of Directors of Bridgewater State University and of the Provider's Council of Massachusetts.

Governance

BOARD CHAIR

Mr. Christopher Egan

Carruth Capital, LLC

Term: Jan 2015 - Jan 2021

BOARD LEADERSHIP PRACTICES

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BOARD ORIENTATION & EDUCATION

Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations?


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CEO OVERSIGHT

Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year?


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ETHICS & TRANSPARENCY

Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year?


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BOARD COMPOSITION

Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership?


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BOARD PERFORMANCE

Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years?