April 1, 2020
Home for Little Wanderers and Wediko to Merge

February 11, 2020 — The Home for Little Wanderers, a Boston-based nonprofit child and family services agency, yesterday announced it will merge with Wediko Children’s Services, a nonprofit also based in Boston that promotes the mental health of children and adolescents with barriers to learning, a move intended to expand services to vulnerable youth.

“Wediko Children’s Services and the Home for Little Wanderers share a mutual passion for and rich history of serving youth and families. Wediko’s extensive programming in New Hampshire and New York complement the Home’s holistic approach to serving vulnerable youth in Massachusetts, said Lesli Suggs, president and chief executive officer of the Home for Little Wanderers.

She added that the merger "will allow the two organizations to expand needed services to vulnerable youth throughout the northeast.”

Jeff Keffer, board chair of Wediko Children’s Services, said, “We are happy to be joining The Home for Little Wanderers family. Wediko and the Home share a common mission. Working as one, we will have more impact in our communities supporting and promoting mental health for kids.”

Chris Egan, board chair of the Home for Little Wanderers, said the merged organization will be able to more effectively expand and deepen services. The merger intends to preserve and expand access to all current Wediko programs, including the Wediko School, Camp Wediko, and the Boston and New York programs.

Edward Zadravec has been serving as interim executive director of Wediko since last March, following the departure of Michael Pearis, who joined the organization two years before ago as executive director. Zadravec, clinical director of Wediko, will oversee the transition with the Home and plans to continue to oversee Wediko's programs.

Wediko's 300 employees will join the 700 staffers now at Little Wanderers.

Merger discussions, which began last spring following Pearis' departure, were prompted on Wediko's part by a need for more capital if the organization was to grow, Zadravec said.

The merger is slated to be completed by the end of February.

The Home was founded in 1865 to care for children who had been orphaned and left homeless by the Civil War. Wediko Children’s Services was founded in 1934 and operates in Boston, New Hampshire, and New York, and runs a therapeutic summer school program for special education students in the Boston school system.

For the year ending June 30, 2018, the Home for Little Wanderers reported $54.8 million in revenue and $56.7 million in expenses and $113.3 million in net assets, while Wediko Children’s Services reported $13.6 million in revenue and $14.7 million in expenses and $6.1 million in net assets, according to their most recently available federal tax filings.

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