BANGOR/BELFAST – Sweetser, one of Maine’s largest nonprofit mental health providers, has announced plans to discontinue providing adult developmental services in Bangor and Belfast. The decision will result in the permanent closure of their group homes (agency home support program) by the end of the year.
Sweetser’s group homes in Bangor and Belfast, provide an opportunity for adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities to live in a community setting, but operates millions of dollars in the red each year.
“This program is no longer financially sustainable given the current reimbursement rates and staffing difficulties,” says Sweetser’s new President & CEO Jayne Van Bramer. “This shift will enable us to re-focus our efforts on our core mental and behavioral health programs Sweetser is known for in every corner of our state; providing support to nearly 20,000 children and adults each year.”
In 2017, the State of Maine asked Sweetser to temporarily take on clients with intellectual and developmental disabilities during a previous organization’s bankruptcy that would have caused instability and safety concerns for their clients. Since then, Sweetser purchased the program and has continued to find ways of enhancing and maintaining high quality care for the past 4 years.
“The Developmental Services team has worked tirelessly to build a strong program and provide the very best care possible,” says Melissa Camire, Sweetser’s Senior Director of Developmental Services. “We’ve been proud to act as a provider of these critical services and are doing everything we can to support our impacted staff and clients during this transition.”
Sweetser will be collaborating with various outside agencies and the Department of Health and Human Services to ensure continuation of care for their 45 clients. Sweetser’s HR team is working with the Department of Labor to connect around 140 staff members to either other internal openings, create new positions, or find outside opportunities.
Sweetser will continue serving individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities as part of their suite of programs including children’s residential and crisis services. Adult developmental services in Bangor and Belfast will cease operations by the end the year as clients are transitioned to other providers. Sweetser’s Bangor office and residential units will be closed at that time.
For media availability, additional information, & comment:
Justin Chenette, Communications & Public Relations Director
207-590-3266 (cell), email@example.com