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Beech Brook Will Focus its Resources on Community-Based Prevention and Early Intervention

Residential Programs will be phased out by June

PEPPER PIKE, OHIO – Beech Brook today announced plans to expand its focus on community-based prevention and early-intervention programs designed to strengthen and support families and children, with a goal of keeping children safe and building strong families. By fully focusing its resources on prevention and early intervention, Beech Brook hopes to help more children before their problems become severe enough to require removal from their families.

Over the past 25 years, Beech Brook has steadily expanded its presence in the community, and currently offers mental health and support services in nearly 100 schools in multiple counties. These services are designed to help children remain in school and complete their education. In addition, the agency provides foster care, early childhood services, parenting, integrated care services, mentoring, family preservation, and support to homeless families.

“Since its founding 164 years ago, Beech Brook has continuously evolved to meet the needs of the community,” said CEO Debra Rex. “We are evolving again, both because of shifts in funding and because the needs of our community are changing. Quality prevention and early intervention are sorely needed. This is where Beech Brook can have the greatest impact and make a difference for children and families in a way that continues our mission for many years to come.” Under this new model, Beech Brook will be able to provide services to more than 18,000 children and families.

Beech Brook will phase out its on-campus day and residential programs for children, including its group home and intensive treatment unit, by the end of June. It will close an office in the Weizer Building on Buckeye Road, as well as offices in Lorain and Summit Counties, although Beech Brook will continue to provide school-based mental health services in those counties.

“Unfortunately, this change will mean a significant reduction in our staff,” Rex said. Today, Beech Brook informed its staff that 179 employees will lose their jobs between now and June 30. “These individuals have contributed to the welfare of the children in our care, and we will do everything we can to help them through this difficult transition,” Rex said.

In addition, she said Beech Brook will work closely with the counties and juvenile courts it serves to find appropriate placements for children who need care. Where residential treatment is still needed, placements are available with other agencies that have demonstrated very good outcomes with this population.

Beech Brook’s Board of Directors has worked with the leadership team over the past year to explore options in light of changes in the way services are funded. Board Chair Philip Dawson explained that, just as hospitals are shifting their business models from only treating illnesses to also keeping people healthy, Beech Brook must adapt to new funding priorities by helping children before their problems become so acute.

“If we continued under our current model, we would face unsustainable deficits,” Dawson said. “We are making these changes now because we want to make sure we preserve our mission for the long term. This is a financial decision but also an acknowledgement of what Beech Brook does best and how we can offer hope and healing to more children.”

After June 30, Beech Brook will continue to serve some children on its 75-acre campus in Pepper Pike, but not in its residential cottages. The future of the campus itself has not yet been determined. Dawson said the Board would like to find a use that fits with Beech Brook’s mission, and will work with the leadership team to map out more detailed plans.

“We are moving toward a future that looks very different,” Rex said. “It was a very difficult decision for all of us and we know it will be very difficult for our employees. But we believe the change is needed to preserve our mission – so that, as long as there are children and families in need of hope and healing, Beech Brook will be here.”

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For more information, contact:

Nancy Kortemeyer

216.831.2255, ext. 2292

nkortemeyer@beechbrook.org