Two of CONCERN’s Founders, Glenn J. Hillegass and Nancy W. Weikert, recently made the decision to retire from CONCERN’s Board of Directors.
In 1977, Glenn and Nancy, as well as other dedicated child welfare professionals, believed that children placed into out-of-home placement should live in a traditional family setting in the community, rather than in a residential or institutional setting. With this belief, CONCERN was founded and became a pioneer in treatment foster care.
The name CONCERN was derived not as an acronym, but as a genuine ‘concern’ for children. Through the years and Glenn and Nancy’s leadership, CONCERN has continued to be at the forefront of innovative programs to meet the individual needs of the child and to promote the strengthening of the family unit.
CONCERN began operations with three foster families and eight children in care. Specialized Foster Care (currently known as Intensive Foster Care) and Regular Foster Care (currently known as Traditional Foster Care) programs were initiated in Fleetwood, Pennsylvania. Today, CONCERN has 14 service sites and has served nearly 18,000 children and youth in placement services, including assisting with the placement of nearly 2,000 children into adoptive families, and more than 40,000 individuals through a continuum of behavioral health services.
During his tenure with CONCERN, Glenn served as Finance Director from 1978 to 1990 and then assumed the role of Executive Director, a position he held until his retirement in 2012. Glenn’s tenure was highlighted by overseeing significant growth of the agency in size, footprint, and diversity of services. He instituted Strategic Planning at as well as the Participatory Management Process, where all levels of the agency can contribute to the decision-making process.
Glenn also was active with the Pennsylvania Council for Children, Youth, and Family Services (PCCYFS), an advocacy organization focused on improving the quality of life for Pennsylvania’s at-risk children, youth, and families, where he served on its Board of Directors as a Board Officer and Chair of its Finance Committee. He was also a member of the Advisory Committee on Services to Children and Youth for the Joint State Government Commission. While Glenn distinguished himself on the administrative side of the organization, Nancy equally distinguished herself on the social services side.
Nancy came to CONCERN as a seasoned child welfare professional having been employed in a variety of positions at both public and private agencies.
Nancy’s tenure at CONCERN included holding the positions of Caseworker, Director of Social Services, and Associate Executive Director, a position she held until her retirement in 2002. Nancy was influential overseeing the continued growth of foster care and adoption and permanency services. Upon her retirement, Nancy continued to be active on behalf of children, becoming the first “Friend of the Council” of PCCFYS.
While Glenn and Nancy may be retiring from active Board participation, they will each continue to serve in an ‘emeritus’ capacity, where they will serve in a non-voting, advisory role.
On behalf of all who have been affected by the services of CONCERN and the staff and Board members who have had the privilege of working with and knowing both Glenn and Nancy, we wish them all the best. Your work at CONCERN will never be forgotten.