It's a decision that had been discussed for more than 15 months.
"For families it will better prepare them for adulthood," said Jessica Wells, LifeScape's Foundation President. "So, our young people will enter adulthood with great skills. We will also be able to enhance our services in community living options for the kids that we serve."
Children's Care Hospital & School and South Dakota Achieve had separately been serving people with disabilities since the 1950s. By merging their organizations, new CEO Anne Rieck McFarland be lives LifeScape will better serve the community.
"There should be more options, more expertise, more resources. I think there will be opportunities for our staff to grow and develop professionally. And, I think as a result our staff will stay longer. And, staff continuity is critical to the services that our children and adults receive," said Rieck McFarland.
Right now, this merger will not affect current staffing. But, Rieck McFarland does envision changes over time.
For now the new agency is focusing on this positive change.
"A lot of granting agencies, our donors, everyone wants us to maximize our efficiency and our stewardship of their gifts," said Wells. "This allows us to not duplicate services and to really enhance what we're both really good at. Being able to do it better together."