The Home for Little Wanderers awarded $50,000

Preschool Outreach Program receives award from Boston Children's Hospital


Boston, August 27, 2015 – The Home for Little Wanderers’ Preschool Outreach Program has been selected as the 2015 recipient of Boston Children’s Hospital’s William L. Boyan Award for Excellence in Community Health. The organization was chosen from more than 30 applicants during a very competitive review process. The William L. Boyan Award is an annual $50,000 award which honors a community organization for its commitment to children and families in Boston. This year’s theme recognized a community group that demonstrates excellence in improving the lives of children and families where they live, work and/or play by addressing the social determinants of health that can impact health outcomes for children and families.

“The William L. Boyan Award is very important to Boston Children’s. We are focused on recognizing and strengthening community health initiatives and efforts that are helping to ensure that children are healthy, families are strong and communities are thriving.  The Selection Committee was thrilled to give The Home for Little Wanderers this award to recognize excellence,” said Shari Nethersole, MD, executive director for Community Health and chair of the William L. Boyan Award Selection Committee.

The Home for Little Wanderers is one of the nation’s oldest child welfare agencies and the largest in New England. As a leader in child welfare and human services, The Home provides a seamless continuum of vital programs and services for every stage of child and family development. The Home’s Preschool Outreach Program (POP) is the only program in Boston that provides a combination of direct therapeutic services to this age group (0-7) and mental health consultative services to their educators and other caregivers. With locations across Boston and Eastern Massachusetts, The Home’s programs and services touch more than 7,000 lives each year.

Staff from The Home for Little Wanderers and Boston Children’s joined approximately 50 other guests at an August 24th reception at the Longwood campus to celebrate the POP’s excellence in community health.

“At The Home we recognize that a successful treatment plan involves early intervention and prevention involving those closest to the children: parents, guardians, and early childhood educators,” said Paul Creelan, Ph.D., Program Director, The Home for Little Wanderers, Preschool Outreach Program. “Many infants and toddlers in the child welfare system, the population we mainly serve, exhibit signs of traumatic stress, including withdrawn behavior, fearfulness, anxiety, aggression, disorganization, and sadness. Without early intervention and prevention, these issues can magnify as the child gets older and result in a host of poor outcomes, such as preschool expulsion — an alarming trend — poor school performance, unfavorable adult outcomes such as joblessness and even early death.”

“The Home for Little Wanderers is incredibly grateful to Boston Children’s and the William L. Boyan Award for Excellence in Community Health,” said Lesli Suggs, Vice President for Program Operations, The Home for Little Wanderers. “This award will go directly to benefit the critical services The Home provides for nearly 400 predominately low-income at-risk children age seven and younger each year. Many of these young children have been abused or neglected or are otherwise suffering from such stressors as homelessness, poverty and domestic violence. POP’s mental health services are crucial for our youngest population because children who have been abused or neglected are at great risk for a variety of behavioral and mental health challenges. Research shows that these stressors derail normal development and learning for young children. Together we will do whatever it takes to help children beat the odds and we will help them thrive and succeed.”

Through this award, the Preschool Outreach Program aims to enhance training opportunities for staff, replace therapy room equipment, increase availability of infant mental health services; and further the development of trainings and workshops.

The complete list of previous William L. Boyan Award recipients is available at:


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