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Local News

May 23, 2013

Salem's Plummer Home launches foster program

SALEM — The Plummer Home has partnered with a Lowell nonprofit to launch a foster care program, doubling the number of youths it serves.

The Plummer Home began working with Lowell-based Casey Family Services in December, said James Lister, Plummer Home executive director.

With the new foster program staffed and up and running, the Plummer Home is overseeing 16 youths in foster homes and is looking for more families to house foster children, said Lister. In the next three years, they’d like to expand to serve 40 or 50 youths at a time.

Casey Family Services closed Dec. 31 as its parent organization, the Annie E. Casey Foundation, decided to focus on the foundation’s grant efforts and stop providing direct services. The agency transferred 16 of its foster children and some of its staff to the Plummer Home.

The organization was “a key partner” in establishing the Plummer Home’s foster care program, sharing training, resources and its Lowell office facilities, said Lister.

The Plummer Home will be able to use the Lowell office for the remainder of Casey Family Services’ lease, through August 2015, he said.

Established in 1855, the Plummer Home for Boys on Winter Island Road is a group home for at-risk boys ages 13 to 22. Currently, the 16-bed home is full, and the nonprofit also supports two young adults living in apartments in the community.

With the addition of the foster program, Plummer Home has multiple support services under one umbrella, said Lister, offering a “seamless transition” between the different levels — group home, family home or foster home.

“It will be the same agency, same service style, same clinical model,” he said. “... It’s really what makes the most sense for kids.”

This year’s expansion allows the Plummer Home to serve kids in a larger geographical area and a wider range of ages.

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