Woodfords Family Services got its start 50 years ago in the basement of Woodfords Congregational Church. They started by working with five families with special needs children for whom public school was not a good fit. They now work with over 1500 families from very young children to elders. They are committed to the support and inclusion of people with special needs and their families in Maine communities.
On December 19, 2017, Kerry de Bree, Director of Development at Woodfords Family Services (WFC) explained that they provide in home support and case management for kids and adults alike. Their programs include education support and help identifying needed support services to help clients maximize their potential, lead safe and secure lives, and have positive enriching relationships. For example, they work hard at combating bullying, since folks with disabilities can be easy targets.
Woodfords works with children who are in state custody. In Maine, more than 2000 are in foster care each year. 60% of children entering foster care in Maine do so due to parental substance abuse or abuse risk factors. In the past 10 years, the number of children under age 5 in foster care has nearly doubled.
Therapeutic Foster Care is a subset of foster care cases and provides loving homes and care for children with medical, behavioral or mental health issues. A specialized type of care.
Who can be a Foster Parent?
  • Must be at least 21
  • Can be married or single
  • Can be a home owner or a renter
  • Have children or be childless
  • Can be at home or work outside the home
All types of people, of different backgrounds, from all sorts of circumstances can be a Foster Parents. The key is having a safe and loving home. Foster parents help children work towards specific goals and help coordinate a continuum of support for the child.  There is a lot of help available for foster parents through free training, mentoring programs, case workers, 24/7 on-call support, and in-home support.
Reunification with the child’s family is the primary goal of foster care. Unfortunately, less than half of children end up back with their family.
Kerry de Bree has been with Woodfords Family Services since 2007. She is responsible for fundraising efforts through federal, state and local grants, individual programs and special events. She also oversees the agency’s marketing efforts, including employee recruitment and legislative advocacy.