“In 1999, a small group of social work professionals gathered to re-envision a model for adoption and permanency services,” said Rick Azzaro, executive director of Voce. “The model became nationally recognized for expediting adoptions and supporting families. Building on that legacy, Voce will provide consultation and training to agencies throughout the nation in the areas of trauma and loss, adoption and permanency, diversity and inclusion, and individual and family well-being. Our vision is a society where every person belongs and is empowered to thrive.”
With more than 20 years of experience, Voce has a distinctly deep and wide view of the human services system. At a macro-level, Voce helps human services agencies break down silos, build up communication and cultivate collaboration across disciplines. At a micro-level, the organization guides, trains and assists professionals in all facets of the system. At every point in between, Voce works to identify and solve problems that ultimately improve the lives of children and families.
“Human services is a dynamic field impacted by changes in society, public policy, law, regulations, the justice system, economics, healthcare and more,” Azzaro said. “For many agencies, adapting to change is daunting, especially when that change calls for overhauls to programs, staffing or technology. Voce is uniquely equipped to guide other agencies to adapt by providing knowledge and tools they can use to help families overcome challenges and stay safely together. As a change agent, we will use our voice, and empower others to use theirs, to create positive, lasting change in people’s lives.”
Leveraging its unique experience as a connector between public sector agencies and direct-service providers in the child welfare field, Voce also plans to innovate new technology solutions that can enhance adoption services in states, counties and cities throughout the country.
Voce already has a footing in the human services sector beyond Pennsylvania’s borders. The organization is one of only four licensed “Training for Adoption Competency” sites in the Northeast and 17 nationwide. TAC, which Voce administers in collaboration with the Maryland-based Center for Adoption Support and Education, is a competency-based training program for mental health clinicians who provide pre- and post-adoption services. Adoption-competent clinicians are in-demand, as adoptive parents often struggle to find therapists skilled in working with adoptive families.
“As we make this transition, we recognize that we do so on the shoulders of that small group of visionary social workers who inspired the idea for our agency two decades ago,” Azzaro said. “While Voce was founded in the Harrisburg region, we are eager to use our voice and share our expertise to create positive change for children and families far beyond Pennsylvania.”
Voce (vō-chāy), which means voice, is a change agent. Formed in 1999, Voce began by pioneering a model that is nationally recognized for expediting adoptions and supporting families. Today, the Harrisburg, PA-based nonprofit offers consultation and training to human services agencies throughout the country in the areas of trauma and loss, adoption and permanency, diversity and inclusion, and individual and family well-being. Voce uses its voice, and empowers others to use theirs, to create positive, lasting change in people’s lives. To learn more, visit VoceTogether.org.