The Annie E. Casey Foundation on Tuesday announced plans to close a foster-care unit it runs, a move that will eliminate 280 jobs and free up roughly $20-million a year in grants to nonprofits that help government agencies serve the needy, including youngsters in foster care.
The closure of Casey Family Services affects employees who provide services in seven states.
Patrick McCarthy, president of the Casey Foundation, said he believes his organization can do more good by providing grants to improve child welfare across the country than it can by continuing to assist the 400 to 600 youngsters it now helps through direct services.
Plans include making sure that all the children now served by Casey Family Services get transferred to other foster-care agencies, with the transition ideally completed by the end of the year. However, the foundation said it will retain some staff members through June 2013 to wrap up all of the program's affairs.
While the foundation's initial savings will go mostly to grants for child-welfare organizations, Casey plans to eventually extend its support to other social-service groups that focus on juvenile justice, mental health, and substance abuse.
A foundation spokesman said employees who lose their jobs because of the change will be given severance packages that include health-care overage and assistance in finding new jobs.