• Hillcrest Educational and Kids' Place Establish Affiliation 07/19/2010
Hillcrest Educational Centers, Inc. President Gerard Burke and Executive Director Katherine Bierwas of Berkshire County Kids' Place & Violence Prevention Center, Inc. announced on July 16, 2010 that the two institutions have established a formal affiliation.
Burke said the affiliation brings into partnership two organizations that are focused on improving the lives of children who have suffered abuse or trauma. "The missions of our two organizations have been aligned for many years," Burke said. "At Hillcrest Educational Centers, we treat hundreds of children and adolescents who have intensive needs, have suffered abuse at a young age and have lived with the psychological scars ever since. At Kids' Place, via immediate intervention, young children have the opportunity to start the healing process right away."
Burke said that the affiliation will improve the ability for both organizations to successfully deliver services to young people who are in need of help. "The entire Hillcrest organization is excited about combining our strengths with an excellent agency such as Kids' Place," Burke said. "Through this partnership we can provide broader access to quality care for the young people we help in both organizations."
Bierwas noted, "Hillcrest and Kids' Place programs are complementary, Kids' Place provides prevention before, and therapeutic services soon after the children have been victims of severe abuse. Hillcrest is addressing the needs of children who have not received this type of early intervention; this creates a natural continuum of services available through our affiliation. Bierwas added, "Hillcrest is a large organization with a lot of administrative horsepower. With Hillcrest providing accounting, human resources and technological assistance, we can focus even more attention on what we do best - helping the children."
Under the affiliation agreement, Hillcrest agrees to provide Berkshire County Kids' Place administrative support within the organization, including:
Business office functions
Fundraising and Public Relations
According to Burke and Bierwas, the results of the affiliation will be invisible to most people. Berkshire County Kids' Place will maintain its name, logo, physical location and programs. The current staff at Kids' Place will remain in position. Funds raised for Kids' Place will remain within the organization. Bierwas added, "Kid's Place has been very successful over the years in large part due to generous donations from a lot of wonderful people. It's important for them to know that our mission has not changed and any support they have provided or will provide will remain right here with Kids' Place. The only change that should be visible to the community is that young people in need of our services will receive even better care thanks to our increased ability to focus on their needs, and less distractions for us regarding administrative functions."
Burke also pointed out that the affiliation between Hillcrest Educational Centers and Kids' Place could provide a model for other non-profits in Berkshire County. "The Chamber of Commerce recently published a study showing the importance of non-profits to the overall economy," Burke said. "One of the key findings was that we have a lot of non-profits, and some of them need more support to thrive in a tougher economy. Kids' Place is an example of a smaller non-profit providing an absolutely vital service in our community, gaining strength from an affiliation with Hillcrest so we can all focus our attention on children and adolescents who are in need of our help."