Youth Villages announces merger with Germaine Lawrence; increases help to children and families in Massachusetts

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Youth Villages, a national nonprofit organization that helps children with emotional and behavioral problems and their families, merges with Germaine Lawrence, a residential provider in Mass. Youth Villages Massachusetts will develop a continuum of care serving more children in the most effective, least restrictive setting.

"This merger will allow Youth Villages Massachusetts to offer a continuum of services so children can be helped in the most effective way," said Patrick W. Lawler, Youth Villages chief executive officer.

Youth Villages, a national nonprofit organization with five offices in Massachusetts, and Germaine Lawrence, a residential treatment campus for girls, celebrated their merger today at the organization’s Youth Villages-Germaine Lawrence Campus in Arlington.

“This is an important day for Germaine Lawrence, Youth Villages and children and families throughout Massachusetts and the country,” said Patrick W. Lawler, chief executive officer of Youth Villages. “We want to work with states that are transforming their child welfare systems so children get the most effective help. This merger will allow Youth Villages Massachusetts to offer a continuum of services so children can be helped in the most effective setting and transition home safely to success in their homes and communities. By measuring our outcomes, we can provide accountability to both families and funders and spur positive change for children and families who desperately need help.”

The merger will allow Youth Villages Massachusetts to create a continuum of care that allows children with emotional and behavioral issues to transition smoothly between programs of different levels of treatment intensity, depending on children’s individual needs. Girls referred to Youth Villages Massachusetts for help now will be able to move seamlessly between the Youth Villages-Germaine Lawrence Campus’ residential and community-based programs for girls as well as Youth Villages’ intensive in-home services for children and their families and its transitional living program for former foster youth.

Youth Villages’ Evidentiary Family Restoration™ approach strives to stabilize and strengthen families of troubled children by working with them in their own homes to avoid the need for a child’s placement in out-of-home treatment. The same program also helps children who have been placed into residential treatment, group homes or foster care to successfully transition home, achieving high long-term success rates around 80% at two years after program completion. Youth Villages’ transitional living program helps foster youth approaching adulthood make a successful transition into independence. Both programs now will be available to the girls receiving help at the Youth Villages-Germaine Lawrence Campus, and girls in Youth Villages’ programs now may benefit from an easier transition to the organization’s new residential programs should they need a more intensive level of care.

Youth Villages CEO Patrick Lawler, Germaine Lawrence’s David Hirshberg and Youth Villages-Germaine Lawrence Campus staff and girls participated in today’s merger ceremony. The celebration featured a poem written and recited by a girl receiving help at the Youth Villages-Germaine Lawrence Campus, as well as performances from girls on the campus and a speech by a Germaine Lawrence alumna. The merger ceremony was followed by a cookout for staff and the girls being helped on the campus.
About Germaine Lawrence:
Germaine Lawrence is a residential treatment campus for adolescent girls with complex behavioral, psychological and learning challenges. Germaine Lawrence’s roots go back to 1908, when an Episcopalian priest founded an orphanage on Arlington land donated to him by a woman who acted as caretaker and later founded the Order of St. Anne Convent at the site. By 1928, the orphanage had become St. Anne's School, a private Episcopalian boarding school for girls. In the 1960s and ‘70s, the school began taking on girls with emotional and behavioral issues through a partnership with the Department of Social Services. The school eventually separated from the Order of St. Anne and, in 1980, became the Germaine Lawrence residential treatment campus. Over the years, Germaine Lawrence added treatment programs to supplement its residential program, including assessments, intensive residential services, one of the region’s only specialized programs for girls who have been commercially sexually exploited, Community-Based Acute Treatment, along with an intensive group home. Germaine Lawrence has a staff of about 200, helping approximately 500 girls every year. Its FY12 operating budget was $11 million. For more information about Germaine Lawrence, visit

About Youth Villages:
Youth Villages, a private nonprofit organization with the mission to help children and families live successfully, has been providing help to children and their families and former foster youth in Massachusetts since 2007. Founded in 1986, Youth Villages started as a residential provider but moved its treatment focus toward family stabilization and reunification services in the 1990s. This year, Youth Villages will provide help to more than 20,000 troubled children and their families in 11 states and Washington, D.C., using its Evidentiary Family Restoration™ approach, which emphasizes restoring families, measuring long-term outcomes, keeping children in the community whenever safely possible, providing intensive help 24/7 and holding the organization accountable to families and funders. Youth Villages has a staff of more than 2,700. Its FY13 operating budget is $190 million.

In Massachusetts, Youth Villages helps children and their families from offices in Woburn, Worcester, Plymouth, Lawrence and West Springfield through intensive in-home services and transitional living programs using its EFR approach. EFR consistently produces success rates twice that of traditional services at one-third the cost of traditional care. Named one of the Top 50 Nonprofits to Work For by Nonprofit Times and Best Companies Group in 2010 and 2011, Youth Villages has been recognized by Harvard Business School and U.S. News & World Report, and was identified by The White House as one of the nation’s most promising results-oriented nonprofit organizations. For more information about Youth Villages, visit

Connie Mills, public relations manager (901) 251-4871; connie.mills (at) youthvillages (dot) org

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