Two Lancaster human service agencies are forming an affiliation and a plan to eventually merge.
The Doctor Franklin Perkins School and the Robert F. Kennedy Children's Action Corps announced Tuesday morning they are forming a new partnership, with RFK becoming an affiliate of Perkins. Michael Ames, Perkins' president and CEO, will lead the two organizations.
The two centers, which stand less than two miles from one another, have similar missions.
The Perkins School provides day- and residential education for youth with developmental, learning, behavioral and other challenges, as well as adults with similar developmental or behavioral health challenges. The RFK Children's Action Corps provides child welfare services, and residential and community-based programs for youth and families across the state. It operates 10 programs for at-risk youth and families, including in Boston, Holyoke and Springfield, along with residential treatment centers in Lancaster, Middleton, Hadley and Yarmouth, schools in Lancaster and Springfield, and the Bright Futures Adoption Center in Acton.
Together, the agencies said they will serve 2,000 people annually through their programs, and reach thousands more through juvenile justice training and technical assistance. According to their Internal Revenue Service filings reported through the nonprofit tracker Guidestar, Perkins has annual revenue of $26 million while RFK's revenue is $20 million.
The Perkins School, which dates to 1896, is named for the administrator who moved it from Newton to Lancaster in 1924, the child psychologist Dr. Franklin Haskins Perkins. Robert F. Kennedy, for whom the other center is named, was a U.S. Senator and attorney general.