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January 4, 2013

Plan will allow the Community-Based Services division of Catholic Social Services to continue to meet the needs of the community while optimizing the use of its limited resources

Today, Catholic Social Services of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia (CSS) initiated a restructuring plan that is aimed at more effectively utilizing its limited resources to support those in need across the five-county Philadelphia region. As part of the restructuring plan, the Community-Based Services division of Catholic Social Services will merge operations, management and, in some instances, facilities, at selected sites.

Through a thoughtful and prayerful process undertaken by the Catholic Social Services Board, a plan was developed to configure a more well-defined model for community-based services, deployed at fewer sites while maintaining a meaningful and effective presence in each of the five counties. This reorganization makes the best use of limited resources by achieving greater efficiencies and sharpening the focus of social service delivery to those people most in need of assistance. In addition, the new model features a strong emphasis on developing partnerships with successful parish outreach programs throughout the region, a viable alternative approach that leverages CSS support of grassroots local efforts. This method of service delivery will ensure strengthen and better position CSS to deal with future challenges. It will also enhance prospects for long-term program growth and development elsewhere.

Under the restructuring plan, the West Grove Family Service Center will close and a partnership will be formed with MisiĆ³n Santa Maria Madre de Dios, an outreach program at St. Rocco Parish in Avondale, Chester County. Also as part of the restructuring plan, the Springfield, Delaware County center will close and merge with the Chester City Family Service Center, providing for more staff in the most disadvantaged area of the county. In addition to strengthening operations in a consolidated office in Chester City, a new partnership will be developed with the St. Katharine Drexel Evangelization Center to enhance and expand the existing food and clothing distribution efforts, as well as extend the literacy program to reach more local residents.

With the merging of the Family Service Centers and additional staff reductions throughout CSS, which currently has 317 full time equivalent employees, 13 employees will be affected. All affected employees will be paid for accrued and unused vacation time. In addition to severance, Catholic Social Services will also provide medical coverage for three months and employees will be eligible for a COBRA-like benefit for the six months following.

"Although these changes will be difficult, especially for those who are directly affected by the staff reductions and mergers, this plan will allow CSS to continue to provide services to those who need it most throughout the Archdiocese," said Auxiliary Bishop John McIntyre, who oversees Catholic Social Services. "Amid these changes, what remains constant is our unwavering commitment to continue the works of the Lord Jesus, by affirming, assisting and advocating for individuals, families and communities in need."
CSS offices in Bucks and Montgomery Counties will continue to serve their communities with large food cupboard programs organized by volunteers working in close collaboration with CSS staff. Information and referral assistance in the counties will now be provided through a central "CSS Helpline" (267-331-2490) which has been in use in Philadelphia over the past year. Philadelphia will continue to be served by CSS offices in the Northeast, North, and Southwest sections of the city, with social services supporting healthy family development, homelessness prevention and emergency food assistance.


Kenneth A. Gavin
Associate Director of Communications

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