Our History

Communities for People (CFP) was founded in 1976 to respond to the needs of troubled youth in Massachusetts. CFP pioneered community-based residential programs after recognizing youth would benefit more from living in the community rather than in institutions. Four years later CFP began providing services in Rhode Island. In 1993, CFP merged with Integrated Foster Care. In 1997 CFP also merged with Special Adoption Family Services. These two mergers allowed CFP to provide a comprehensive continuum of services.

CFP collaborated with The Providence Center to create Placement Solutions, an organization that reviews and manages the services for the Rhode Island Department of Children, Youth, and Families (DCYF). In 2010 Placement Solutions became independent of The Providence Center.

In more recent years, CFP joined a network of agencies, called The Care Management Network, working together to provide a full scope of services to RI youth and families.




Joseph M. Leavey

Joseph M. Leavey, founded Communities for People (CFP) in 1976. He has held several distinguished positions in the field of child and youth welfare services in Massachusetts, including Director of the Placement Division of Child Guardianship, Commissioner of the Department of Youth Services, President of the Massachusetts Council of Human Service Providers, Chairman of the Children’s League, Chairman of the Special Commission on Foster Care, and President of the State Advisory Board for the Department of Children and Families (DCF). In 1980 CFP expanded to Rhode Island where Joe assumed a leadership role in the development of adolescent residential and outreach programs. Today Communities for People is offering a continuum of care through foster care services, residential and independent living programs, and home based services in both Massachusetts and Rhode Island.

When Joe was Commissioner of Youth Services he began to deinstitutionalize youth and create community-based programs. His vision was that youth were better served in small group settings similar to their homes. Joe also believes in the importance of Provider collaboration and was instrumental in the development of many provider networks in Massachusetts and Rhode Island.

Under Joe’s leadership CFP began to provide Management Services to human service agencies that needed financial and management assistance. Joe’s commitment to evidence-based treatment led to the creation of two MIS utilization programs. Placement Solutions in Rhode Island and the Family Reunification Network in Massachusetts.


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