At the heart of The Home’s programs is an unwavering commitment to permanency. Permanency means that every child has a caring adult in their life who remains in their life. Research shows that children do better when they grow up in families. Permanency provides a child with a legal and emotional connection to a family, however “family” may be defined.
As the co-founder of the Massachusetts Permanency Practice Alliance (MPPA),The Home works to make sure that vulnerable children can stay home, go home or find a home. In addition, we partner with other child welfare leaders to drive public policy that leads to better permanency outcomes.
“Human beings are wired to attach,” explains Lesli Suggs, The Home’s President and CEO. “That’s how we grow. That’s how we learn. The notion that substitute care is better than family care is wrong. We have to preserve families and invest in families, so that families can take care of children, but we have to protect kids at the same time.”
Agencies like The Home enter a child’s life when they are most vulnerable to make sure they are safe, get treatment and have a strong family environment. This may initially involve a foster family, but our ultimate goal is to reunite children with their own families or to find new, caring adoptive families.
Permanency can be particularly important to those who are too old for the foster care system, but still young enough to need guidance on housing, education, jobs and self-sufficiency. By providing these young adults with a permanent path, we help them more readily transition to an independent life. In addition, as they enter the workforce and succeed, they strengthen both our society and our economy.
Equally important, permanency can stop the cycles of abuse, neglect and suffering that often extend from one generation to the next by providing at-risk children with a stable family and a secure path forward.