CSS Moves to Lawrence!
COMPASS’ Comprehensive Support & Stabilization (CSS) program works with the Massachusetts Department of Children and Families (DCF) to provide a comprehensive service to children and families involved in the child welfare system. COMPASS Family Specialists and Clinicians work to develop, support and strengthen the skills that families need to provide a safe and supportive environment for their children. COMPASS serves as a liaison between the families and the public school, social service, and/or juvenile justice systems – and meets with clients and their families several times a week in the home and in the community.
Over the past ten years, the CSS program has been expanding to meet the needs of youth and families in the Greater Lowell and Lawrence areas. As the number of cases being referred in these areas began to catch up to those in the Greater Boston area, the number of staff needed to support the many families increased. With a larger number of staff residing north of Boston and even in southern New Hampshire, COMPASS opened its first branch office on Merrimack Street in downtown Lowell in 2016. This allowed for COMPASS staff living in the surrounding areas to increase their productivity since they dramatically reduced their travel time. Having an office in the cities and towns COMPASS serves gives its staff an opportunity to become immersed in the communities and deeply understand their intricacies.
In just two short years, the Lowell office has become home to thirteen full-time staff on a daily basis – with even more dropping by during the day. This turned into a need for additional staff space, and with the projections of an ever-increasing caseload in the surrounding communities, the decision was made that a new space was needed. After searching in Lowell and many other local cities and towns, COMPASS has acquired a new office space in Lawrence! This office space is brand new, and it is located right next to the Lawrence DCF office!
COMPASS staff moved into this new office at the beginning of October, and it already feels like home! As Margy Nicholson, Director of Community Services, reflects, “it is amazing to see the CSS program continue to grow throughout Massachusetts – and we are always assessing what works best for our staff and the clients we serve”. We at COMPASS are excited to see where the next year takes us!