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WBZ Cares: America’s Oldest Child Welfare Agency Encourages and Support Youth

BOSTON (CBS) – Each month, WBZ Cares highlights a worthy non-profit organization and tells the story of what that organization does for the community.

This month’s organization is “The Home for Little Wanderers,” the nation’s oldest child welfare agency.
Their goal: Provide services to support and encourage youth to become successful adults.

Founded by First Lady Abigail Adams in 1799, The Home For Little Wanderers’ is America’s oldest child welfare agency. (Photo Credit: The Home For Little Wanderers)

“We serve roughly 7500 people a year…and that includes children and their siblings and the rest of their family members. We have a staff of 750 full and part-time employees. We run 22 programs on an annual basis.” said Joan Wallace-Benjamin, President, and CEO.

Wallace-Benjamin, says they help kids in a number of different ways. “We serve kids in a variety of different settings. In residential settings, we serve them in community-based settings. We do a lot of work with early childhood development. And working with children in terms of the developing brain and how that impacts their mental and emotional health.” she said.

“We serve kids in a variety of different settings. In residential settings, we serve them in community-based settings. We do a lot of work with early childhood development. And working with children in terms of the developing brain and how that impacts their mental and emotional health,” she said.

Their staff includes licensed clinicians, direct care counselors, psychiatrists, psychologists, and teachers. “The Home for Little Wanderers” also has a unique history.

“Abigail Adams was a founding donor of the home and so, you know, we’ve got great community support that’s gone back years and years and years.”

And in fact, Wallace-Benjamin says. “The Home’s” history goes back centuries.

“Well,’The Home For Little Wanderers’ is America’s oldest with a founding date of 1799 and one of New England’s largest Child and Family service organizations. The age actually comes back to the merger of “The New England Home for Little Wanderers” with three other child servicing organizations back in the late 1990s.” she said.

For more information about ‘The Home For Little Wanderers,” visit:  TheHome.org or the WBZ Cares section on the CBSBoston.com website during the month of May.

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