Change Reflects Expanded Services with a Community Focus
Mercy Home for Boys & Girls has announced that its AfterCare program has changed its name to Community Care. The new banner better reflects the ways the department works with our youth and families and increasing partnerships and utilizing resources in the community to meet the needs of its members.
The name change accompanies a recent expansion of the team and its capacity to provide supports for more youth and families, particularly since the pandemic challenged the Home to explore new ways to connect people with resources. “We had to get creative, since our work has been remote, to get a better understanding of what the needs are and what the community’s capacity to meet those needs are,” said Daniel Nelson, who has overseen the growth and evolution of the program since 2005. “It’s [the new name] a natural fit for how we want our work to be perceived and provides the best framework for how we execute our work on a daily basis,” Nelson said.
The new name also reflects an outward service focus for Mercy Home as an Agency and its efforts to address the needs of people living throughout Chicagoland. “Our mission is to provide healing for children and families in need,” said Fr. Scott Donahue, who has dramatically expanded investment in the program since becoming Mercy Home’s President & CEO in 2006. “And over the course of our 133-year-history, we have always tried to evolve and adapt to provide that healing in the most effective, creative, and relevant ways that we can. It’s because of the immensely talented coworkers in this department, and truly in all of our programs, that we have been able to respond to ever-changing conditions in the community.”
Nelson echoed this excitement about the potential that the new name and the investment in the program’s staff brings to the mission. “I feel like I have a team of truly dedicated talented smart people who would provide the best quality of care for the people we support,” he said. New coworkers in the department are able to specialize in various life domains, such as family issues, education, vocations, housing and more, to meet the needs of the whole individual and better support families.
“I’m excited by the team we have and the talent they bring to the table, and it’s already positively affecting our members. Their work will make our members more engaged, more supported, and more accomplished down the line.”
The Community Care program was founded as AfterCare in 1981 with the purpose of offering continued connection and opportunity for our young people even after they’ve left our full-time care. Last fiscal year, AfterCare provided direct supports for up to 428 youth and family members.