CREST HAVEN – The county youth shelter program will be operated for the next five years by Center for Family Services, Inc.
That Camden-based organization currently provides service to the county.
The action took place after freeholders unanimously passed a resolution at the Sept. 25 meeting.
Two proposals were evaluated Aug. 15.
Based on that study, “…it has been determined that Center for Family Services, Inc. is the best qualified to provide said services based on proven ability of performance, qualifications, vast references, cost and a favorable outcome by the review committee.”
The organization will provide administration and operation of the youth shelter program, administered through the Department of Human Services, for five years starting Jan. 1, 2013.
When the board decided to privatize the operation of the shelter, there was widespread opposition, mostly from employees and family members of youth who had been aided at the shelter. The board cited high costs compared to number of individuals being served as the reason to privatize the operation of the shelter, now known as the Oasis Youth Services Program.
According to its website, Center for Family Services, Inc., operates 12 shelters and residential treatment facilities throughout South Jersey in Glassboro, Blackwood, Camden, Laurel Springs and Woodbury. It provides domestic violence safe houses in Cumberland and Gloucester counties.
Also on the nonprofit human service agency website, President and CEO Richard Stagliano stated the agency is “dedicated to improving the lives of children and families in southern New Jersey.
“At Center for Family Services, we work every day to strengthen families and make the world we live in a better place one child, one family at a time. Our goal is to do more than just provide a solution for an immediate problem. We work to help our children and families overcome the obstacles that led them to such difficult times. We help them to build a foundation for self-sufficiency. We focus on prevention, in order to provide support to families before serious problems ever occur.
“Though the combined efforts of our dedicated board of trustees, skilled and experienced professional staff, and generous donors and volunteers, we are able to provide services to those adults, children, and families that are most vulnerable in the community.
“Our work touches the lives of thousands of individuals preventing those at-risk from becoming victims of child abuse or neglect, providing intervention services when necessary, and breaking the cycle of challenges that often cause serious family problems. “Through our in-home, community, school-based, prevention, and safe and supportive housing programs, we provide the foundation for a child, and individual or a family to develop and follow their own best path to a successful future.
“Center for Family Services has been dedicated to being a force for positive change in our neighborhoods, in our communities, and in our world for over 90 years. Our important work is possible thanks to the generous support of our funders, partners, and donors. The need for services is ever growing and support from the community will help us to provide services to more children and families.”