The SMART Child and Family Services has opened a new office in Hotel Harris. SMART staff in back are Sharon Dadmun, caseworker; Laura Ladin, therapist; Rachel Bouchard, caseworker; Mary Anne MacMath, financial manager; Laura Pecoraro, caseworker; and Debra Perkins, programs assistant; front, Amy Thomas, executive director; Holly Hathaway, clinical supervisor; and Jo Bradeen, assistant executive director. Staff not present were Jamie Anderson, caseworker; Matt Lombard, therapist; and Steve Danzig, intern.

SMART Services opens new office

RUMFORD – In spite of the freezing temperatures outside, more than two dozen people braved the cold to attend the ribbon-cutting ceremony for SMART Child and Family Services’ new office in the Hotel Harris.

SMART’s main office is located on Route 115 in North Windham. Due to the high need for foster parents in the tri-county area of Oxford, Franklin and Androscoggin counties, SMART opened a satellite office in Rumford to recruit and support foster parents in those counties.

Susan Johnson, River Valley Chamber office, coordinated the event. Members from the local community, family and staff were in attendance to welcome SMART to the area.

Executive Director Amy Thomas spoke on the search for the right area to open the new office. Impressed by the friendliness and helpfulness of the Rumford area people, she stated, “SMART is pleased to be part of a welcoming, vital community, where everyone is valued. Together, SMART, Rumford and surrounding communities can make a positive difference in the lives of children and families.”

Assistant Executive Director Jo Bradeen will be in the Rumford office on Fridays and other times by appointment. She said it was like coming home for her.

She was raised in East Bethel and raised her family and worked in Dixfield and Rumford all her adult life, until five years ago when she moved to Auburn.

Bradeen started her involvement with foster care as a foster parent 35 years ago. She said she is looking forward to working with foster parents in Rumford and the surrounding areas.

Those interested in becoming a foster parent should call Bradeen at 364-4820.

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