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Sibling Connections, Inc.

 89 South Street, LL02
 Boston, MA 02111
[P] (617) 335-1292
[F] --
www.siblingconnections.org
[email protected]
Cynthia Dantas
Facebook
INCORPORATED: 2007
 Printable Profile (Summary / Full)
EIN 26-1519159

LAST UPDATED: 10/24/2018
Organization DBA Camp To Belong MA
Former Names --
Organization received a competitive grant from the Boston Foundation in the past five years No

Summary

Mission StatementMORE »

The primary goal of Sibling Connections is to support the creation of enduring family relationships and community connections for sisters and brothers who experience foster care.  Our work is accomplished through innovative programs and practices that restore and strengthen the lives of siblings who have been separated when placed in the public foster care system.

Mission Statement

The primary goal of Sibling Connections is to support the creation of enduring family relationships and community connections for sisters and brothers who experience foster care.  Our work is accomplished through innovative programs and practices that restore and strengthen the lives of siblings who have been separated when placed in the public foster care system.

FinancialsMORE »

Fiscal Year Oct 01, 2011 to Sept 30, 2012
Projected Income $109,200.00
Projected Expense $109,025.00

ProgramsMORE »

  • Camp to Belong MA
  • Sibling Sundays

Revenue vs. Expense ($000s)

Expense Breakdown 2015 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2014 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2013 (%)

For more details regarding the organization's financial information, select the financial tab and review available comments.


Overview

Mission Statement

The primary goal of Sibling Connections is to support the creation of enduring family relationships and community connections for sisters and brothers who experience foster care.  Our work is accomplished through innovative programs and practices that restore and strengthen the lives of siblings who have been separated when placed in the public foster care system.

Background Statement

In 2004, Judy Cockerton - founder, with one staff member and a dedicated group of volunteers, began Sibling Connections, an organization designed to maintain the precious sibling bond for sisters and brothers experiencing foster care. The first program was Camp to Belong MA, a week-long summer camp designed to connect siblings, ages 8 - 20 years, who have been place in separate foster homes. Camp to Belong is a national and international program founded by Lynn Price, a former youth in care who knows firsthand about the power of the sibling connection. After a year of planning and organizing, Camp to Belong MA was launched on Cape Cod in August of 2005. Now located at Camp Taconic in the Berkshires, Camp to Belong will celebrate its 8th season in the summer of 2012, with nearly 100 sisters and brothers from across the state.
Determined to help Camp to Belong MA campers maintain their sibling relationships after camp ended, Sibling Connections launched a second program in the fall of 2005. Sibling Sundays is a year-round program that offers regularly scheduled opportunities for sisters and brothers who live apart to connect in a safe environment and continue to create joyous shared memories. Now in its 8th year, Sibling Sundays is in operation in three parts of Massachusetts: western MA, southeastern MA and greater Lowell.

Impact Statement

In the past year, we have been able to increase the number of children experiencing our programs, during our year round Sibling Sunday get togethers and our week long Camp to Belong MA camp experience.  We have also hired an Executive Director and are thrilled with how she has hit the ground running and has brought a depth of experience and professionalism to our organization.  We worked with a consultant to develop a strategic plan and are anxious to begin the work to execute on our vision.  Lastly, and sadly, we transitioned our beloved Treasurer who had served on the Board and in that role since the organization was founded.  We regret Peter's departure but know that we are an equally skilled and capable hands.  Looking to the future our areas of focus and priority are: executing on our strategic plan, increasing our fundraising outreach and opportunities, board development and continuing to increase the number of children experiencing our programs. 

Needs Statement

The majority of funds expended in our annual operating and program budgets are for direct program expenses.  We do receive some funding from the State, but nearly 75% of our funding is done privately through foundations and individual donations.  The biggest obstacle we face in bringing our programs to more of the approximately 9,000 siblings in the Massachusetts foster care system, and increasing our funding.

CEO Statement

As a foster/adoptive parent of a sibling group of 3 youth in care, I have seen firsthand the value and importance of the sibling bond.  My children were not only involved in the foster care system, they were placed with three different foster families from three different foster care agencies.  And to add the the many challenges of their situation, they were all at least an hours' drive away from each other.  To schedule a one hour monthly sibling visit at the DCF office, schedules had to be coordinated with 8 adults.  Can you imagine how complicated this was?!  My son passed up on the opportunity to be adopted by a family who adored him and he felt the same about them.  He passed on the chance for a 'forever family' because he was afraid he wouldn't see his sisters any longer, as the family was moving out of state.  Those one hour monthly office visits were so much more important to him than a 'forever family'.  The opportunity for my children to participate in Sibling Connections helped change this as it does for so many other youth in care.  Youth in care are able to participate in fun activities outside the confines of the local DCF office. They can try things they've never done before.  They can learn about each other; what they like, what they don't like.  And best of all, they can just have FUN together.  No need to worry about being a foster child, no need to wonder if you're sibling is being taken care of, no need to worry about when you're going to see them again. Sibling Sundays happen once a month so youth can plan on it.  We celebrate birthdays and success and support each other during challenging times.  And for one week in August, siblings are able to spend a whole week together with other sibling groups who have had similar life experiences.  Youth don't have to feel singled out because they are a 'foster kid'.  They learn from one another, build each other up, build upon their relationship with each other and create lifelong memories.  Most of our activities are specifically created to build individual self-esteem and developing the sibling relationship.  Our amazing volunteers are they backbone to our organization.  They show up every month to transport youth to our programs and participate in activities. They return to camp year after year, each year bringing new friends to join our team.  They do this because of their commitment to our mission and their belief in what we do matters.  As the only organization in the state dedicated to building the sibling bond of youth who are separated by foster care, we are very proud of what we do and believe in the value of the sibling relationship.  

Board Chair Statement

 

One evening in the fall of 1998, my husband handed me a newspaper article and said, “I thought you might be interested in reading this.” It was a story about a five-month-old boy in foster care who was kidnapped from his crib. This story was a catalyst, a moment of inspiration. The next day, my husband and I contacted the Department of Children & Families to become foster parents. After we completed MAPP training, two young sisters were placed in our home. It was through these two beautiful little girls that I began learning about the facts of life for children placed in foster care.  One of the realities of our child welfare system that most people are not aware of is that, due to the fact that there is a shortage of people who are willing to become foster parents, siblings entering foster care are often not placed in the same home when they are removed from their families. For example, in Massachusetts there are 12,000 youth experiencing foster care, and over 75% are separated from their sisters and brothers. Scheduling predictable year-round sibling visits is often a challenge for social workers, foster/kinship/guardianship/birth parents and adoptive families. The result: Children are placed in different settings and rarely see one another. The consequences: Children worry about one another. Their health and well-being suffer. They do not have the opportunity to spend time together and develop healthy long-term sibling relationships. They grow up without one another.  I worked diligently to keep the two young sisters placed in my home connected to their other siblings living in different places so that they would know one another and create joyous shared memories. One day in 2004, while my youngest daughter was home sick, I had the good fortune of watching Camp To Belong founder, Lynn Price, win a Use Your Life award on Oprah.  As my little one lay in my lap sleeping, I watched Oprah hand Lynn a $50,000.00 check to support her work on behalf of sisters and brothers who had been separated when placed in foster care. Lynn, a foster care alumna who didn’t know that she had a sister until she was 8 years old, established Camp To Belong—a summer camp model designed to bring siblings together.  As a foster parent, I understood the value of the Camp To Belong program. I picked up the phone and called Lynn in Colorado. The rest is history! In 2004 Lynn came to MA to help us launch Camp To Belong Massachusetts. In 2005 we welcomed sisters & brothers from every region of the Commonwealth to our first season of CTB MA! As the kids were getting on the bus to head home after their week at camp, we said, “See you at the Fall Reunion!” A couple of months later we not only hosted that reunion, but also launched Sibling Sundays, a year-round initiative to bring brothers & sisters together every month throughout the seasons!


 


Geographic Area Served

STATEWIDE

Our hope is to work with every child in the Massachussetts foster care system separated from their sibling(s).  We currently have three concentrated areas of outreach:  greater Lowell, southeastern MA and western MA.

Organization Categories

  1. Human Services - Foster Care
  2. Youth Development - Youth Development Programs
  3. Community Improvement, Capacity Building - Community & Neighbourhood Development

Independent research has been conducted on this organization's theory of change or on the effectiveness of this organization's program(s)

Under Development

Programs

Camp to Belong MA

Camp To Belong MA is a weeklong camp, held every August for sisters and brothers  who have been separated in foster care. For many of our campers, the week at Camp To Belong MA is the first time that they
experience the simple pleasures of being with family – celebrating their joint birthdays with a camp wide birthday party and exchanging presents, going horseback riding, swimming, boating, rock climbing, and making scrapbooks together. We hear from many campers what a gift it is sit down together as a family to eat three times a day. The other 51 weeks of the year are marked by limited access to their siblings and structured visits that must be supervised by social workers. Camp To Belong MA provides a wonderful alternative - a full week together, 24 hours a day, in an environment where every activity and program is carefully designed to help create shared childhood memories and a stronger sibling bond.

 

 



Budget  $94,000.00
Category  Human Services Foster Care
Population Served Children and Youth (infants - 19 years.)
Program Short-Term Success  --
Program Long-Term Success  --
Program Success Monitored By  --
Examples of Program Success  --

Sibling Sundays

Sibling Sundays is a year-round program that offers regularly scheduled opportunities for sisters and brothers who live apart to connect in a safe environment. The program is designed to build upon and enhance the sibling connections developed during the summer. It also provides a place of connection for those siblings who might not be able to successfully spend a full week together at camp. Sibling Sundays takes place one Sunday or Saturday a month during the fall, winter, and spring after the camp session is over. Each month approximately 50 - 60 sisters and brothers come together throughout the state to spend the day participating in developmentally appropriate activities such as ice skating, sledding, horseback riding, swimming, and arts and crafts.


Sibling Sundays provides a caring, protective environment where siblings have fun together and develop a trusting relationship with their brothers and sisters. For most children, it is the only time they get to see their brothers or sisters. Sharing this experience with other children experiencing similar circumstances adds an extra layer of support for children who are often the only one in their class or social group with the stigma of being in foster care.


We are frequently asked, “Isn’t it hard for the children to spend one week together at camp and then return them to their separate lives?” Sibling Sundays is our response to that question. Sibling Sundays is designed
to build upon, and strengthen, the connections between brothers and sisters that are developed at Camp to Belong MA.


Budget  $12,000.00
Category  Youth Development Youth Development, General/Other
Population Served Children and Youth (infants - 19 years.)
Program Short-Term Success  --
Program Long-Term Success  --
Program Success Monitored By  --
Examples of Program Success  --

CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments

Sibling Connections is the only non-profit organization in the state of Massachusetts to provide a year round sibling connection initiative to sisters and brothers ages 7 - 20 who have been separated when placed in the public foster care system. For the past 13 years we have provided a one week summer camp program for siblings from across the state:  Camp To Belong MA.  We have also created monthly sibling connection events in three regions of the state: Western MA, Greater Boston and the Greater Lowell Area.  Our three year strategic plan states that we will serve more youngsters across the state. We would like to develop the fiscal capacity to add additional staff and programming in order to meet this important goal.  Currently, we have 2.5  paid staff members and a volunteer corps of approximately 125 people after 13 years of operation.

 

Management


CEO/Executive Director Ms. Cynthia Dantas
CEO Term Start May 2018
CEO Email [email protected]
CEO Experience


 

 

Co-CEO --
Co-CEO Term Start --
Co-CEO Email --
Co-CEO Experience --

Former CEOs and Terms

Name Start End
-- -- --

Senior Staff

Name Title Experience/Biography
-- -- --

Awards

Award Awarding Organization Year
-- -- --

Affiliations

Affiliation Year
-- --
Member of state association of nonprofits? No
Name of state association --

External Assessments and Accreditations

External Assessment or Accreditation Year
-- --

Collaborations

--

CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments

In 2011 the Sibling Connections board of directors went through a Strategic Planning Process.  We have hired an Executive Director and are now in the process of expanding the board.  Our goal is to find a seasoned Board Chair who can lead the organization forward through Phase Two:  Beyond Being Founder Led.  We are seeking a board chair who has knowledge about the public foster care system and is highly engaged in fundraising and board development.  After we celebrate Season 8 of Camp To Belong MA, our summer program, the board will come together to create a road map and implementation plan to help us achieve additional goals outlined in our three year strategic plan.

 

 

Foundation Comments

--

Staff Information

Number of Full Time Staff 0
Number of Part Time Staff 1
Number of Volunteers 75
Number of Contract Staff 0
Staff Retention Rate % 0%

Staff Demographics

Ethnicity African American/Black: 0
Asian American/Pacific Islander: 0
Caucasian: 1
Hispanic/Latino: 0
Native American/American Indian: 0
Other: 0
Other (if specified): 0
Gender Female: 1
Male: 0
Not Specified 0

Plans & Policies

Organization has Fundraising Plan? Under Development
Organization has Strategic Plan? Yes
Years Strategic Plan Considers 2
Management Succession Plan Under Development
Business Continuity of Operations Plan No
Organization Policies And Procedures Under Development
Nondiscrimination Policy Under Development
Whistle Blower Policy No
Document Destruction Policy No
Directors and Officers Insurance Policy --
State Charitable Solicitations Permit No
State Registration --

Risk Management Provisions

--

Reporting and Evaluations

Management Reports to Board? Yes
CEO Formal Evaluation and Frequency Yes Annually
Senior Management Formal Evaluation and Frequency No N/A
Non Management Formal Evaluation and Frequency Yes Annually

Governance


Board Chair Mrs. Judy Cockerton
Board Chair Company Affiliation None
Board Chair Term Jan 2005 -
Board Co-Chair Doug McClure
Board Co-Chair Company Affiliation Healthrageous
Board Co-Chair Term Oct 2010 -

Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
Judy Cockerton Community Volunteer --
John Green KPMG, LLP Voting
Phil Mastroianni Fabrizia Voting
Joanna Neas Community Volunteer Voting

Constituent Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
-- -- --

Youth Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
-- -- --

Advisory Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
-- -- --

Board Demographics

Ethnicity African American/Black: 0
Asian American/Pacific Islander: 0
Caucasian: 7
Hispanic/Latino: 0
Native American/American Indian: 0
Other: 0
Other (if specified): --
Gender Female: 4
Male: 3
Not Specified 0

Board Information

Board Term Lengths 1
Board Term Limits 0
Board Meeting Attendance % 85%
Written Board Selection Criteria Under Development
Written Conflict Of Interest Policy Yes
Percentage of Monetary Contributions 100%
Percentage of In-Kind Contributions 100%
Constituency Includes Client Representation No

Standing Committees

  • Development / Fund Development / Fund Raising / Grant Writing / Major Gifts
  • Special Events (Golf Tournament, Walk / Run, Silent Auction, Dinner / Gala)
  • Volunteer

CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments

The Sibling Connections board of directors is in the process of moving beyond being a founder led organization.  Our current Board Chair will rotate out of her board seat and remain on the board.  We are seeking appropriate Board Chair candidates to replace her. 

 

Foundation Comments

--

Financials


Revenue vs. Expense ($000s)

Expense Breakdown 2015 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2014 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2013 (%)

Fiscal Year Oct 01, 2011 to Sept 30, 2012
Projected Income $109,200.00
Projected Expense $109,025.00
Form 990s

2015 990

2014 990

2013 990

2012 990

2011 990

2010 990

2009 990

Audit Documents --
IRS Letter of Exemption

IRS Letter of Determination

Prior Three Years Total Revenue and Expense Totals

Fiscal Year 2015 2014 2013
Total Revenue $199,493 $148,732 $107,864
Total Expenses $176,307 $136,861 $123,832

Prior Three Years Revenue Sources

Fiscal Year 2015 2014 2013
Foundation and
Corporation Contributions
-- -- --
Government Contributions $0 $0 $0
    Federal -- -- --
    State -- -- --
    Local -- -- --
    Unspecified -- -- --
Individual Contributions $175,184 $138,584 $100,681
Indirect Public Support -- -- --
Earned Revenue $24,309 $10,148 $7,183
Investment Income, Net of Losses -- -- --
Membership Dues -- -- --
Special Events -- -- --
Revenue In-Kind -- -- --
Other -- -- --

Prior Three Years Expense Allocations

Fiscal Year 2015 2014 2013
Program Expense $176,307 $136,861 $123,832
Administration Expense -- -- --
Fundraising Expense -- -- --
Payments to Affiliates -- -- --
Total Revenue/Total Expenses 1.13 1.09 0.87
Program Expense/Total Expenses 100% 100% 100%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue 0% 0% 0%

Prior Three Years Assets and Liabilities

Fiscal Year 2015 2014 2013
Total Assets $48,903 $41,717 $34,521
Current Assets $48,903 $41,717 $34,521
Long-Term Liabilities $0 -- --
Current Liabilities $16,750 $32,750 $37,426
Total Net Assets $32,153 $8,967 $-2,905

Prior Three Years Top Three Funding Sources

Fiscal Year 2015 2014 2013
1st (Source and Amount) -- --
-- --
-- --
2nd (Source and Amount) -- --
-- --
-- --
3rd (Source and Amount) -- --
-- --
-- --

Financial Planning

Endowment Value --
Spending Policy N/A
Percentage(If selected) --
Credit Line No
Reserve Fund No
How many months does reserve cover? --

Capital Campaign

Are you currently in a Capital Campaign? No
Capital Campaign Purpose --
Campaign Goal --
Capital Campaign Dates -
Capital Campaign Raised-to-Date Amount --
Capital Campaign Anticipated in Next 5 Years? --

Short Term Solvency

Fiscal Year 2015 2014 2013
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities 2.92 1.27 0.92

Long Term Solvency

Fiscal Year 2015 2014 2013
Long-term Liabilities/Total Assets 0% 0% 0%

CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments

We only receive a small portion of our funds from the state.  The actual cost per camper is approximately $1,000 however, we are only funded $475 per camper from the state.  And only about 75% of our campers receive assistance from the state.  The rest of our operating costs are raised through our fundraising efforts through events throughout the year, appeals and grants.
The majority of funds expended in our annual operating and program budgets are for direct program expenses.  We do receive some funding from the State, but nearly 75% of our funding is done privately through foundations and individual donations.  The biggest obstacle we face in bringing our programs to more of the approximately 9,000 siblings in the Massachusetts foster care system, and increasing our funding.

 

Foundation Comments

Financial summary data in the charts and graphs above are per the organization's IRS Form 990s.  Contributions from foundations and corporations are listed under individuals when the breakout was not available.

Documents


Other Documents

No Other Documents currently available.

Impact

The Impact tab is a section on the Giving Common added in October 2013; as such the majority of nonprofits have not yet had the chance to complete this voluntary section. The purpose of the Impact section is to ask five deceptively simple questions that require reflection and promote communication about what really matters – results. The goal is to encourage strategic thinking about how a nonprofit will achieve its goals. The following Impact questions are being completed by nonprofits slowly, thoughtfully and at the right time for their respective organizations to ensure the most accurate information possible.


1. What is your organization aiming to accomplish?

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2. What are your strategies for making this happen?

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3. What are your organization’s capabilities for doing this?

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4. How will your organization know if you are making progress?

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5. What have and haven’t you accomplished so far?

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