Over time, the program realized that other needs were not being met and assistance was expanded to include the distribution of donated household items all year round, school supplies for children, and baby items to help mothers when they had no resources to provide necessary items for children up to age 24 months. Once the additional programs were added, it was necessary to file for a 501c 3, non-profit charitable program exemption with the IRS, and create a Board of Directors or Council.
The Board of the Human Services Council, Inc. includes community and business volunteers who serve Adopt-A-Family. The Board sets agency policy, manages the budget, and volunteers with program efforts. Although Adopt-A-Family is a non-profit entity, it enjoys a long-standing and unique partnership with the State of Delaware Department of Health and Social Services, Division of State Service Centers. This partnership allows 98% of all financial donations to be used for direct services to needy families because DHSS/DSSC provides strong administrative support to Adopt-A-Family.
In 1998, the Program extended from New Castle County to Kent and Sussex Counties with one office to serve the two lower counties. This included filing and receiving a separate 501c 3 exemption and the creation of a separate Board of Directors or Council. While there are some small differences in the assistance provided by each County, the goals remain the same. We are still fully funded by donations from the public and businesses that share our goals.
Adopt-A- Family is coordinated by the DHSS, Division of State Service Centers, under leadership of the Human Services Council, Inc., a 501c3 advisory board. This relationship allows for a public-private partnership that works to support families throughout the year. Adopt-A- Family is completely funded by individuals, community agencies, churches, and corporations with administrative support from DHSS/DSSC. Therefore, all donations are managed by the Human Services Council, Inc. and 100% of all donations are used to provide direct support to needy families.
In 2016, the two councils merged to become one non-profit under the name of Human Services Council, Inc., and continue to be well known throughout the State as Adopt-A-Family. As a statewide organization, the organization is able to provide cohesive services to Delaware families throughout the State. No one is ever charged a fee of any kind for services that are provided to Adopt-A-Family and all donations are tax deductible.
Adopt-A-Family was started as a Holiday program in 1973 in New Castle County by Marge Meyerman. The goal at that time was to provide Holiday Assistance to needy families who would otherwise not be able to provide for their children during the holiday season. The program was completely operated and funded by volunteers and donations from the general public and businesses who wanted to help.