July 31, 2023
Plummer Youth Promise

Two-year-old Jayden is one of hundreds of children who have found a forever family through the services and support of Plummer Youth Promise.

Connecting young people with forever families
Plummer Youth Promise envisions a world where youth of all ages are supported unconditionally

By Michelle Xiarhos Curran
ECCF Communications Writer

At age 20, Amaya entered the Community Apartments Program at Plummer Youth Promise, a Salem-based nonprofit that helps young people in or at risk of entering state care build permanent family relationships.

Like many older youth in foster care, Amaya had been encouraged to prepare for adulthood on her own. But she desperately wanted a family.

“We advocated tirelessly for this,” said Plummer Youth Promise Executive Director Nicole McLaughlin.

At the age of 21, Amaya was officially adopted by Rochelle and David, an interracial couple with two young children who understood her unique experience as a youth of color and with whom Amaya instantly connected.

“Amaya’s Plummer team supported her as she got to know Rochelle and Daniel, helping to facilitate conversations about their future together,” said McLaughlin. “At Plummer, we know all young people deserve a family, regardless of their age or circumstance.”

Plummer Youth Promise has hundreds of stories like Amaya’s. In fact, right now, the organization, which was originally founded in 1855 as a reform school for boys, is serving over 300 youth of all genders and ages through a variety of programs. The young people Plummer serves hail from across Eastern Massachusetts, but the majority live right here in Essex County.

“Plummer also trains other child welfare professionals in best practices through our training and consulting division, informing the care of over 14,000 young people nationwide each year,” said McLaughlin.

This work is a cornerstone of Plummer Youth Promise’s goal to shift the foster care system to one that focuses on the promise of a life-long bond with family – either a biological family or a new one, regardless of a youth’s age or circumstance.

“Too often, the foster care system assumes that older youth and teens in foster care will never be reunited with their first family or establish relationships with a new family,” said McLaughlin. “We envision a world in which every young person has a family unconditionally committed to nurture, protect and guide them into successful adulthood.”

For over a decade now, Plummer Youth Promise has partnered with ECCF to help meet the needs of the youth they serve.

“Whether it’s a donation of computers to help youth further their educations or emergency funding to help keep youth and families safe, healthy and connected during the first months of the pandemic, ECCF has consistently stepped in to help meet emergent needs at Plummer,” said McLaughlin.

ECCF is thrilled that Plummer Youth Promise has chosen to expand their relationship with the foundation as a Corporate Partner.

“The impact of ECCF on the nonprofit landscape in Essex County is enormous,” said McLaughlin. “The foundation has worked intentionally to learn about and understand the needs of local nonprofits and is an effective facilitator of opportunities and relationships, especially with fundholders.”

In fact, McLaughlin points out, ECCF fundholders have played a key role in the nonprofit’s newest endeavor, a capital project that will transform the organization’s critical work.

Plummer Youth Promise, located on a sprawling plot of land on Winter Island overlooking Salem Channel, will soon begin a major project to build a new, trauma-informed residential facility that is modern, energy efficient and full of the amenities youth and families need to build strong relationships. The project will also involve the renovation of their historic Victorian building, creating dignified and accessible space for staff and volunteers.

“We plan to break ground in 2023,” said McLaughlin. “The future is exciting for Plummer and we are so grateful to ECCF for their ongoing support of our work connecting foster youth with permanent families.”

To learn more about the work of Plummer Youth Promise, please visit www.plummeryouthpromise.org.

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