Children from across the United States to be supported as new partnership boosts Starr Commonwealth’s Albion campus
A new partnership between Starr Commonwealth and a national human service agency aims to boost the number of children being served on Starr’s Albion campus as part of a growth plan designed to launch the organization into its second century.
The agreement means that Sequel Youth and Family Services will manage the publicly-funded residential services on Starr’s Albion campus, with Sequel utilizing its national network of human service clients to ensure that more children can benefit from Starr’s historic and therapeutic campus.
Announcing the partnership, representatives from Starr and Sequel explained that, while the transition will mean changes for many of Starr’s current employees, the agreement is expected to generate new opportunities as Starr’s residential student population grows.
The growth of the residential programs is part of a plan that will see Starr double the number of children and families its serves through its programs in Michigan, from 4000 to 8000 annually, within the next five years. Other areas of growth include Starr’s community-based services in juvenile justice and child welfare, behavioral health programs and charter schools. Starr’s training programs for professionals who work with children are also expected to grow from their current reach of 17,000 professionals each year to over 20,000.
Dr. Martin Mitchell, President and CEO of Starr Commonwealth, said: “This partnership is great news for the future of our Albion campus and for the young people who will continue to benefit from Starr’s residential programs for many years to come. The aim is to significantly increase the student population from its current average of 150, creating new opportunities for the local area, and helping us to manage the financial pressures being placed on human service agencies across the nation.”
“Sequel has a strong track record of managing residential programs efficiently and effectively, drawing on a national network of referral sources, and we believe this is the ideal partnership for helping us to significantly increase the student population on our Albion campus, which is necessary to make the facilities on our campus sustainable. By collaborating with Sequel, we can go beyond Starr’s current reach in Michigan and help vulnerable children from across the US to gain access to Starr’s transformational services. It will also help us to expand our community-based programs in behavioral health, juvenile justice, child welfare, education, and training for professionals who work with children – ultimately, we aim to be reaching over 8000 children and families annually across Michigan through direct services, plus over 20,000 professionals through our training by 2019,” said Dr. Mitchell.
He added: “Starr and Sequel are committed to working together to ensure the Albion campus thrives for both students and staff. The transition on Starr’s Albion campus will result in approximately 200 staff leaving Starr’s employment initially, with around 100 being immediately re-employed by Sequel, and additional jobs being created as the student population grows. The Starr employees affected by the change may also be given redeployment opportunities. We realize this transition will be a difficult experience for a number of people, and we are providing as much support as we can for our staff while we work with Sequel to launch this partnership.”
John Stupak, CEO of Sequel Youth and Family Services, said: “We are thrilled to enter into this partnership with Starr Commonwealth. I have been continuously impressed with the leadership, staff and drive of Starr and truly believe that this is a great opportunity for Sequel, for Starr, and for the people who need our help.” Stupak continued, “In Starr we see a mission-driven, sophisticated organization that has an enormous amount of integrity. Together, we will be able to reach an even larger number of children and adolescents who need our help.”
In the new partnership, Sequel will manage Starr’s residential services for children referred through the publicly funded juvenile justice and child welfare systems, which have been a feature of Starr’s Albion programs for the last century. Starr’s privately funded therapeutic boarding school, Montcalm, which opened in 2000, will close after a period of low and unsustainable populations in its programs. Starr will work with students in the Montcalm boarding school and their families to find appropriate alternative programs.
• Approximately 200 Starr staff will be affected by the change in management of Starr’s Albion-based programs. It is expected that more than half of these staff will be re-employed by Sequel Youth and Family Services.
• Starr currently serves approximately 150 students on its Albion campus, with around 110 in the publicly-funded program (now to be managed by Sequel Youth and Family Services) and approximately 40 in the private boarding school, Montcalm, which will close in January 2015.
• It is expected that Sequel Youth and Family Services will begin managing Starr’s public residential program by December 1st 2014.
• While Sequel Youth and Family Services will manage the residential program on Starr’s campus, Starr Commonwealth retains ownership of the land and all assets on its Albion campus. Starr also retains all of the relevant licenses for the residential program.
About Sequel Youth and Family Services
• Sequel Youth and Family Services was founded in 1999, and is a privately owned company that develops and operates programs for people with behavioral, emotional, or physical challenges. Sequel operates 32 programs located in 17 different states, serving clients from 39 states and U.S. territories. The company’s spectrum of services includes: long-term residential treatment; short-term impact programs; shelter care; therapeutic group homes; therapeutic foster care; community-based services; in-home services; alternative education programs and Psychiatric Residential Treatment Facilitates (PRTF). Sequel’s populations include adjudicated and at-risk delinquents, children with autism, and children, adolescents and adults with physical disabilities or sexual, substance abuse, emotional, or conduct disorders.
• Sequel’s mission is to prepare clients to lead responsible and fulfilling lives by providing mentoring, education, and living support within a safe, structured, dynamic environment — whether on one of its campuses, in the community, or in people’s own homes. Sequel programs are designed to equip clients with the vision, motivation, life skills, education, and self-discipline necessary to lead a successful life.