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January 16, 2008

Mission of caring for children and their families to continue under new service model

St. Vincent's Home, a haven for adolescent girls unable to live in their own homes because of abuse, neglect, poverty, instability of family structure, and lack of supports, will be changing from a campus-based to a community-based service delivery model, according to Monsignor Joseph A. Tracy, President of the Board and Secretariat for Catholic Human Services of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. St. Vincent's Home has been caring for children for 152 years at its campus in the Tacony section of Northeast Philadelphia.

In recent years St. Vincent's Home has focused on helping adolescent girls - some of whom are pregnant or have babies - in Tacony. Later this year, it will provide services in community-based group homes where St. Vincent's professional staff will help the girls learn skills to face life challenges particular to their backgrounds in the context of a structured, daily routine. The move to community-based group homes is expected to be complete by June 30.

"Our decision to transition from the campus model to one focused on community-based group homes was necessary to align the services provided by St. Vincent's Home with the delivery preferences of government funders and referral sources," said Tracy. "Our new approach is also in line with national trends to provide outside-the-home placement for children only when necessary and in locations close to their families. The girls in our group homes will continue to receive superior counseling and 24-hour supervision. The community setting enables us to provide a level of personalized care in neighborhoods closer to the girls' families."

The transition will result in changes that will require fewer staff members at St. Vincent's Home. Because of a low census at the Home, 13 positions are being eliminated immediately. By June 30, staff (which currently numbers 156) will be reduced by approximately 40 percent. "We will work with those colleagues whose positions are being eliminated to find other jobs with other human service providers, like those under the umbrella of Catholic Social Services, or to provide severance, job counseling and training to help ease their transition."

St. Vincent's Home is currently in the process of obtaining community approvals for suitable group home locations. No decisions have been made on an alternate use for the Milnor Street campus in Tacony. "We will be working with the Archdiocese of Philadelphia and other interested parties to determine what uses are possible for the property. If there is a property disposition, all proceeds will go exclusively to St. Vincent's Home to sustain its mission of caring for children," said Tracy.

The Day Care Program operated at the Home's current site will be discontinued by June 30, the end of the school year. For additional information about St. Vincent's Home's transition and mission, visit its web site,, or call 215-587-3747.

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St. Vincent's Home is a separately incorporated, nonprofit human services agency that operates under the auspices of Catholic Social Services of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. The Home was founded by St. John Neumann in 1855 to initially care for poor and orphaned immigrant children, but over its long history has assisted abused and neglected youth of all ages and races. Today, the work of St. Vincent's Home centers on providing residential and therapeutic care and related services to adolescent girls and their families

Kevin Mulligan
Associate Director

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