NEW YORK, NY, NOVEMBER 16th, 2015 – Spence-Chapin, a non-profit adoption and family services agency, announced today, two separate partnerships – Catholic Guardian Services and The New York Foundling – both aim to service the New York City foster care population. Spence-Chapin will be working with both agencies to improve the permanency process, help stabilize foster care placements, and elevate the skill levels of staff who work with foster and adoptive families.
“Spence-Chapin, Catholic Guardian, and New York Foundling share a long history of providing high quality services to children and families in the New York Area,” says Adam Cotumaccio, President of Spence-Chapin. “We are committed to partnering with these organizations by using our adoption experience and proven approach to have an even greater impact on New York City’s children in care.”
Choosing to work with the most complex cases, Spence-Chapin started its foster care initiative six months ago with Catholic Guardian Services. Relying heavily on individual donations and private funding, Spence-Chapin has been able to impact the lives of over 300 children throughout New York City. Because of this program, 12 children and 7 foster families are now moving forward with an adoption plan. Spence-Chapin is now looking to scale their initial pilot program.
The foster care initiative aims to provide comprehensive, evidence-based therapy with customized case management. Spence-Chapin will continue to work closely with children, their foster families, doctors and teachers to build a network of support at a critical time. The program will also train staff on navigating existing open adoptions, conditional surrenders, common diagnosis, engagement skills and the effects of trauma and permanency planning.
Spence-Chapin is a resource for Catholic Guardian’s pre-adoption services for children in foster care. “Some of our cases are very complex,” says Caryn Asher, Chief Program Officer, Catholic Guardian Services. “Spence-Chapin acts as an extension of the Catholic Guardian team, helping us bridge the gap between client needs and services.”
The goals of these partnerships include shifting the current foster care culture into modern adoption and open adoption practices. Various metrics have been established to measure the effectiveness of Spence-Chapin’s involvement; these metrics include decreasing the number of psychiatric hospitalizations, improving mental health ratings, and minimizing the number of intra-family moves for children in foster care. “Spence Chapin has entered into a professional and collaborative relationship with New York Foundling,” says Carmen Jirau-Rivera, Chief Program Officer. “Spence-Chapin is committed to supporting the New York Foundling in their work by providing adoption competent clinical intervention to address family stability and permanency planning on our most complex cases.”
“Each of our agencies have a strong interest in changing the permanency process,” says Spence-Chapin’s Cotumaccio. “By working with these premier agencies, Spence-Chapin hopes to create a culture to stabilize placements, care for clients’ mental and emotional wellbeing while offering adoption competency training to both staff and families.”