WESTWOOD, Mass. (June 30, 2020) – The Arc of South Norfolk and Lifeworks Inc., longtime affiliated nonprofit human services providers with shared missions of supporting people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, today announced that they will formally merge into one agency, Lifeworks Arc, effective Oct. 1, 2020.
Through a multiyear strategic planning process involving many stakeholders including families, staff and funders, each organization’s board of directors determined that they would be better positioned to succeed in the rapidly changing human services landscape by unifying their resources, programs and staff capabilities.
“After taking time to thoughtfully review our structures, we believe a combined Lifeworks Arc is stronger than the sum of its parts,” said Daniel Burke, who serves as president and CEO of both organizations and will continue to lead Lifeworks Arc. “Through one united organization, mission and vision, I am confident in our resiliency and our strong position as a leader in human services in the Commonwealth.”
While the combined organization will achieve efficiencies that may mean some vacant positions do not need to be filled, there will be no layoffs as a result of the merger and none of the agency’s programs will close.
The histories of both organizations have been intertwined since their inception. The Arc of South Norfolk was founded in 1954 by families seeking to advocate for and create services for their children with intellectual and developmental disabilities. In the decades following, the services, programs and advocacy crafted by the Arc expanded.
By the 1970s, the Arc of South Norfolk had developed a number of integrated, community-based programs for children and began offering day programs and employment services for adults. In that effort, Lifeworks was created within the Arc of South Norfolk. By the late 1980s, the Arc of South Norfolk and its Lifeworks programs continued to diversify with the addition of residential programs and other services. In 1989, Lifeworks became a separate, affiliated nonprofit with an independent board, but shared a CEO with the Arc of South Norfolk.
“Since 1990, both organizations continued to grow and work collaboratively to meet the needs of the individuals supported by the agencies,” said Dennis Carroll, the Board Chair of The Arc of South Norfolk and the chair-elect of Lifeworks Arc. “As the way services and supports for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities changes, so must we. This merger will simplify contracting with the agencies that fund our work and position the new organization for continued growth.”
About Lifeworks Arc
Since 1954, Lifeworks Arc and its predecessors, the Arc of South Norfolk and Lifeworks Inc., have served the towns of Norfolk County and beyond by providing support to people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, through collaboration, advocacy and empowerment. The Westwood-based nonprofit organization serves more than 2,300 individuals from more than 14 communities in the Greater Boston, Norfolk County and Attleboro areas through a wide variety of services and programs, including employment services, and residential, education, and day habilitation programs.