February 20, 2020
Germaine Lawrence Merges with Youth Villages Massachusetts

September 13, 2012 — Germaine Lawrence, an Arlington-based residential treatment center for adolescent girls, yesterday announced that it has merged with Youth Villages Massachusetts, which is part of a national nonprofit that provides help to children and their families and former foster youth across Massachusetts.

Matt Stone, executive director of Youth Villages Massachusetts, , said, "The merger will benefit both Germaine Lawrence and Youth Villages, but first and foremost, it will benefit the children and families of Massachusetts.

"Our combined organization now can provide a continuum of care to troubled girls, who can move seamlessly between programs of different treatment intensity according to their individual needs, with the ultimate goal of family reunification as quickly as safely possible." Germaine Lawrence has been renamed the Youth Villages-Germaine Lawrence Campus.

David Hirshberg , who had been CEO of Germaine Lawrence CEO, will continue to serve the campus in a consultant role.

“This merger benefits Massachusetts’ troubled children and their families by providing them with greater options and seamless transitions between treatment programs,” said Hirshberg. “By merging our organizations, we’re proud to be able to provide a wider variety of much-needed programs to children and their families – programs that are both effective and cost-effective. This is a win-win for children, families, the Commonwealth, and our two organizations.”

A Youth Villages spokesperson said that while the Germaine Lawrence board will dissolve, several Germaine Lawrence board members will join either the Youth Villages national board of directors or the Youth Villages Massachusetts board. In addition, other Germaine Lawrence board members may volunteer on the Youth Villages leadership council.

Germaine Lawrence, with an operating budget of $11 million and a staff of about 200, each year helps approximately 500 girls.

Merger discussions began more than a year ago, prompted by a desire by both organizations to establish a continuum of care, in line with trends in Massachusetts and nationally. The continuum of care will allow children with emotional and behavioral issues to transition smoothly between programs of different levels of treatment intensity, depending on children’s individual needs, she noted.

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.

The Germaine Lawrence residential treatment campus was established in 1980 although its 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.

Youth Villages Massachusetts was established in 2007 and now has offices in Woburn, Worcester, Plymouth, Lawrence, and West Springfield, offering intensive in-home services and transitional living programs.

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