St. Joseph's Home To Close In June

Reprinted from a unidentified northern New Jersey newspaper

ROCKLEIGH, Feb, 14, 1973 – St. Joseph's Village, a home for thousands of children for the last 14 years, will be closed at the end of the present school year in June.

Stephen Shea, chairman of the Board of Trustees of the village, said the decision was reached last week at a board meeting.

"A study of our financial picture for 1972 and an estimate of a loss of $250,000 in 1973 and even more in the future brought us to the recognition that we can no longer maintain the facility," Mr. Shea said.

The property and buildings are owned by the Sisters of St. Joseph of Peace, who have built and conducted institutions dedicated to child care, social work, schools, and hospitals throughout the area since before the turn of the century. Since 1970, the Village has been supervised by a Board of Directors, three of whom are Sisters of St. Joseph.

Sister Patricia Aldan, Provincial of the Eastern province of the order, said in a statement that the community of sisters has accepted the necessity for ceasing operations with "extraordinary" grief and regret."

Mr. Shea said the Village population, once 209 children ranging in age from infants to 14-year-olds, is now 90 — all of school age — and the estimated number of children by June is 60.

The demand for foster home placements and small group home placements is on the increase and the placing of infants is less the problem it once was," he said. "We receive our children from the STATE Bureau of Children's Services, now the Division for Youth and Family Services. They come to us from all parts of New Jersey. Many of these children the state agencies can place in foster or group homes. We usually receive the multi-handicapped and. in dire need of special therapeutic services.

The decline of populations in child caring institutions, together with growing costs per capita, has brought about the economic condition which has produced the Board's decision, Mr. Shea said. He said that it was not unique at St., Joseph's alone but was evident in similar facilities throughout the state.

The Village, opened in 1958 with some 208 children, a capacity figure, had an average population of 190 between 1962 and 1967. At that time the average cost of providing services to the children was running about $175 for each child, each month.

In 1968, the number of children at the Village dropped to about 145 and the average dropped average cost rose to $283 a month. Prior to this time, the Village was able to conduct operations and meet payments on the mortgage through various contributions and fund raising activities.

In 1968, the Bureau of Children's Services began providing $200 a month for each child that it had at the Village. Catholic Charities for the Newark Archdiocese was providing a stipend for each child it sponsored.

In 1969, the average population was 134 and the monthly cost for each child was $222. The: following year the number of children dropped to 110 and the cost was up to $473. By then the was the only one supplying children and was paying just $200 a month. This was increased to $400 a month during the year and has remained at that figure since.

"Costs of services continue to outstrip subsidies." Shea said "and as the population declines we go deeper into debt. In addition, we are faced with even heavier deficits because of. the treatment and child care costs we must provide for most of the children now being turned over to us."

The Village was opened in October 1958, and represented an amalgamation of three children's... [The remainder of this article was cut off on the tear sheet we copied this from.]