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About Us

  • ADVOCACY
  • EMPOWERMENT
  • OPPORTUNITY

Overview

Lifeworks, formerly The Arc of South Norfolk, began in 1954 by a group of concerned parents who were looking to advocate for services for their children with developmental disabilities. The Lifeworks Mission is: Advocacy, Empowerment, Opportunity. On October 1st, 2020, Lifeworks and The Arc of South Norfolk merged to become one organization with a shared mission and guiding principles. Our Boards of Directors have become one Board and the organization is led by our CEO Dan Burke. To learn more about our History, Leadership and Board-please see that information under “About Us”. This site provides information to our programs, resources and a calendar of our events and activities.

Our organization provides a variety of programs, services and supports to the communities of Greater Boston and Norfolk County. Lifeworks is an affiliated chapter of The Arc (of the United States) and alongside our chapter partners, led by Arc Massachusetts, we continue to advocate with persons with disabilities and provide opportunities for empowerment and equity.

We are led by our Guiding Principles:

  • Build collaborative partnerships with families, friends, and communities
  • Ensure a continuum of person-centered supports and choices
  • Advocate for the protection of human and civil rights
  • Develop and retain exceptional, supportive staff
  • Provide visionary leadership that is actively engaged in defining future standards of supports
  • Sustain sound stewardship to advance mission, financial, and organizational integrity

Letter from the CEO

To our Lifeworks Colleagues,

As we approach October 1st, our agencies Lifeworks and The Arc of South Norfolk are readying for our official merger.

We are grateful for the tremendous work done by so many people to make this happen- this includes our Business Office, Administrative Assistants, Program Leadership staff across both agencies, our Board of Directors and the staff who have worked on our Bigger Boat committee that has coordinated this process.

I thought it would be helpful to provide all of you with some quick bullets updating you on the Merger and where the agencies are as we get to October 1, 2020.

Our merger of The Arc of South Norfolk into Lifeworks will be official on October 1, 2020. At that time, our agency will be Lifeworks Inc. We will be an Affiliated Chapter of The Arc. Our 65-year history with The Arc, through our chapter status with the Arc of the U.S. and the Arc of Massachusetts will continue. We have released our new Logo which is attached to this memo and was sent to all last week. We have also announced our new Mission Statement- Advocacy * Empowerment * Opportunity and our Guiding Principles.

As a part of our merger, it is important for all staff, especially those from the Arc to remember that your current status as an employee continues- your current salary, your years of service, and your benefits. We are simply bringing back together two agencies that were at one time a single entity, which divided for the best interests of the people we serve, their families and staff in 1990, now are coming back together for the same reason- the best interests of the people we serve, their families and our staff.

As of September 20th, all Arc employees will begin entering their timesheets and payroll information with Lifeworks. A memo from Brenda Calder to all Arc employees sent on Sept. 13th addressed this.

Lifeworks and The Arc are blessed to have a tremendous group of staff who are casual, on-call staff- these staff work on-call, as needed in our residences, our day programs, work for our Family Supports, Autism Supports divisions. We are also blessed to have our Harbor Counseling clinicians who work as Fee for Service staff working a schedule range. Each of you is highly important to our agency and for those who worked for The Arc, your status and position is as valuable as ever now that we are one agency. If you have not been working since Covid-19 set its foot down on all of us, I invite you to reach out to your program director and get a sense of the wonderful work happening in all parts of our agency. Our health and safety protocols have been an enormous success. We would love to hear from you.

On October 1st, our Boards of Directors will be uniting as one. In addition, our Human Rights Committees will be uniting as one, , our Positive Behavioral Supports Committees and others . This merger will greatly increase our efficiency and effectiveness. Our Business Offices united as one in July and our Human Resources Departments have been united for over 3 years.

We have a team of staff from each agency, led by Susan Kagan our Director of Development who are putting together a new website which will be ready for initial launch on October 1st. We will be working with all levels of the agency to further develop this throughout October, including content development and photographs.

During the month of September, at the direction of the Commonwealth, we are working with all staff involved in our residential programs to get everyone tested for Covid-19. As of today, we have about 65 people including staff, relief staff, temp. agency staff, visiting nurses and hospice agency nurses to get tested out of over than 280 people. We conducted a walk-in testing with ProEMS in our parking lot here in Westwood. Great work done by all.

Furthermore, we now own over 200 test kits and our nurses are now able to take a sample and get testing results done in 36 hours for Covid-19 through the support of ProEMS.

We are pleased to further implement our organizational planning as a part of the merger. Stephanie Hajjar, the Director of Quality Assurance will be the Director of Q.A. for the entire new agency including former Arc-only programs. Courtney Hills will be the Behavioral Supports Specialist for our complete organization and Mike Fuller will be the Director of Operations and Transportation for all programs. Dan Homer will continue as Facilities Coordinator and will continue to be responsible for our building at 789 Clapboardtree St. as well as all of our Lifeworks residences and properties.

Sarah Charbonneau took over as the Vice President of all Lifeworks Day Services including the Day Habilitation programs in Westwood and West Roxbury as well as continuing to oversee our Employment Services and Life Enhancement programs in Norwood and West Roxbury.

Our day program re-openings continue to go well serving over 140 people weekly and continuing to grow at all four of our locations. The Day Habilitation and Life Enhancement programs have been providing ever-increasing virtual programming, through Zoom, Facetime, and conference calls to the people we serve for months.

Our Family Supports, Family Autism Center and Intensive Flexible Family Supports programs are working diligently on the Commonwealth’s contract renewal proposal format, their Request for Proposal for these services. This takes place every 10 years and we look forward to utilizing this process to highlight the many wonderful things that take place in all of these programs.

We are pleased that through this pandemic, our Lifeworks Residential programs and now our Employment and Day Hab programs are accepting new referrals to these programs. It is exciting to see people move into their new homes, to see people achieve new jobs after graduating from school and to watch people return to their original jobs.

Our Shared Living and AFC programs continue to accept referrals and provide services and supports through this pandemic. Lifeworks and The Arc have made great utilization of Tele-health, including a full transition of the supports of Harbor Counseling to a Tele-health model through much of this crisis. We are proud of the work done by all and our ability to support the people we all serve through tele-health and virtual programming.

Finally, no review of our progress and programming can take place without paying a tribute to the heroes of this pandemic time. Our heroes are three groups in nature:

  • The persons we serve who have been incredible in their resilience, dedicated in working to keep themselves safe and remain concerned about their families, staff and co-workers.
  • The families of the persons we serve, the group that has been such an enormous support for their family members. Families have become full-time care providers, drivers, job coaches, zoom technicians, cooks, and performed home maintenance when necessary to accommodate the needs of their family members.
  • The staff who work for Lifeworks and The Arc. This group of amazingly dedicated staff have been working all day, every day since March 16th doing their jobs in different environments, in a different way, in a different location including at home and utilizing all forms of communication and access to support the people we serve. The determination and commitment of staff who worked at our homes when Covid was at its most active in our programs, the staff going into people’s homes, the staff who have been instrumental in re-opening day programs are admired by all of us and we are grateful for your work.

In closing, we hope all of you are staying healthy and safe. Please know that we are available to all of you and look forward to doing all we can to support each and everyone of you.

About Us

For over sixty-five years, Lifeworks, an Affiliated Chapter of The Arc, has provided advocacy, empowerment and opportunity for people of all abilities. Our programs and services include adult day services, community residences, individual employment supports, social activities and recreation programs for families and persons with disabilities.

We continue to provide services offered by The Arc of South Norfolk and Lifeworks, Inc. as one entity as of October 1st, 2020.

ORGANIZATIONAL HISTORY

The history of Lifeworks begins with the history of The Arc, in the South Norfolk area. The Arc of South Norfolk (for many years referred to as SNCARC), which for over 65 years was a separate but related agency, began in 1954 by a group of concerned parents who were looking to advocate for services for their children. The parents met at the home of Ruth Holman. This group of brave and strong parents were people who chose not to listen to the educators and medical personnel of the day who advised families to have their children placed into state institutions.

Led by Jane C. Smith and Bill Abel, pictured below, The Arc of South Norfolk became a member of The Arc of Massachusetts, a statewide umbrella agency of Arc’s from throughout the state and eventually members of The Arc of the United States. These agencies became leaders in developing integrated, community-based services and in advocating for the closure of state institutions and the advancement of community based residential and employment programming. The Arc, of which Lifeworks remains an affiliated chapter, is the largest human rights and civil rights organization in the world for persons with disabilities. The first word of our new Mission Statement is Advocacy, because each and every day, everyone involved at Lifeworks is advocating the rights and opportunities for the persons we support.

In 1972, we opened our first employment training program, which today is called Lifeworks Employment Services. In 1973, Judge Tauro issued the landmark consent decree ordering the Commonwealth to move people out of state institutions. In 1975 we opened one of the first community based residential homes for the persons with intellectual and developmental disabilities in Sharon. Early on, our services focused on supporting people who were either living with their families in our geographic area or those who were being discharged from Wrentham, Fernald or Dever State Schools. In 1977, we opened our first Day Habilitation Center at the First Baptist Church in Westwood. We also opened our Family Support Center, to provide family supports to people in our twelve Town Region.

In 1989, due to political and advocacy challenges, our board of The Arc of South Norfolk formed a separate agency with its own board, called Lifeworks. The agency moved the employment programs and residential programs to Lifeworks operating with one President/CEO. This model of two separate but, related agencies then steadily grew, with the addition of services such as our Harbor Counseling Center, the creation of our Family Autism Center, the launch of the ALEC program, our Community Based Day Supports program and eventually 18 residences, 2 employment centers, and 2 Day Hab programs.

Today, our agencies have returned to their past, we have merged to form one agency- Lifeworks which remains an affiliated chapter of The Arc. We provide services to over 2300 people and their families, employing nearly 500 people but always remembering our essential role- to Advocate for those we support, to ensure the empowerment of the choices of the persons we serve and to provide opportunity to enhance their lives each and every day.

LIFEWORKS ARC BOARD OF DIRECTORS FOR OCTOBER 1, 2020 TO JUNE 30, 2021

Dennis Carroll, Chairman & Director

(Business Executive, retired)

___________________, Vice Chairman & Director
Paul Falvey, Treasurer & Director

(Business Executive)

Marilyn Howley, Clerk & Director

(Town Meeting Member)

Ira Biggar, Director

(Member at Large - Attorney, retired)

Heidi Haggman, Director

(Member at Large - Self-Advocate)

Sheila Coakley, Director

(Member at Large - Attorney)

Richard Henderson, Director

(Member at Large - Business Executive, retired)

Paul Cummings, Director

(Member at Large - Business Executive)

Jane McClellan, Director

(Member at Large - Business Executive, retired)

Karen Durham, Director

(Member at Large - Community Service)

Kevin Murphy, Director

(Member at Large - Financial Executive)

Thomas Erhard, Director

(Member at Large - School Teacher, retired)

Karen Norton, Director

(Member at Large - Self-Advocate)

Robyn Garth, Director

(Member at Large - Community Service)

Frank Sally, Director

(Member at Large - Attorney, retired)

Carolyn Gombosi, Director

(Member at Large - Community Service)

Garrett Traylor, Director

(Member at Large - Business Executive)

Meta Unterweger, Director

(Member at Large - Community Service)

Leadership Team

Agency Senior Leadership

Daniel Burke, President/ CEO
Chris Page, Chief Operating Officer
Brenda Calder, Chief Financial Officer

Administrative & Leadership Support

Betsy Ross, Executive Assistant

Quality Assurance and Community Services Division

Daniel Sullivan, Vice President
Pamela Henderson, Senior Director of Individual & Community Services
Pamela Martino, Director of Family Support Center
Brian Clark, Director of Family Autism Center
KayLee Blanchard, Director of Clinical Services/Harbor Counseling
Roger Parks, Director of Adult Family Care
Stephanie Hajjar, Director of Quality Assurance
Darrell Daybre, Director of Individual Home Supports
Bill Cannata, Autism Law Enforcement Coordinator

Residential Services Division

Danielle Warzecki, Vice President
Holly Goguen, Director of Residential Services
Jennifer Jezak, Director of Residential Services
Laura Klinedinst, Director of Residential Services
Michelle Medas, Director of Residential Services
Teresa McDonald, Director of Nursing

Employment and Day Services Division

Sarah Charbonneau, Vice President
MaryEllen Cameron, Director of Employment Services-Norwood
Kevin Smith, Director of Employment Services-Boston
Diane DeMeritt, Director of Day Habilitation Programs
Mike Fuller, Director of Operations & Transportation

Lifeworks Business Office Operations

Kevin Ryan, Comptroller
Elizabeth Parker, Director of Human Resources
Christa Marot, Business Office Manager
Ellen Russell, Billing Contracts Supervisor

Lifeworks Development Department

Susan Tufts Kagan, Director of Development

Facility & Maintenance Operations

Daniel Homer, Director of Facilities & Maintenance Operations

2017 ANNUAL REPORTS

The Arc of South Norfolk

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2018 ANNUAL REPORTS

The Arc of South Norfolk

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2019 ANNUAL REPORTS

The Arc of South Norfolk

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2020 ANNUAL REPORTS

Lifeworks, Inc.

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