The Good Samaritan Agency was founded in 1902 by women from thirty area churches brought together by local businessman, Robert Jordan. Good Samaritan Agency was the first independent adoption agency in the State of Maine and has been helping to meet the needs of single, pregnant women for more than a hundred years. In the early years, it was known as the Good Samaritan Home Association as all services provided were residential. As society changed, the services changed to meet the needs of the women being served. In the 1950’s, the home closed and boarding care arrangements were made with local foster families. By the 1990’s, the agency stopped using foster families as the clients wanted to live independently or with relatives or friends.
In the earlier years, most of the young women ultimately married and parented their children, or the child joined the extended family. By 1909, some of the young moms found that they were not able to parent, so the agency assisted these women in helping their children to join adoptive families. Especially in the 1930’s when the Great Depression hit, adoption became a more necessary choice for many of these young women. At present, we continue to work with birth families and adoptive families, providing them with a continuum of services from homestudy through post legal.
In 1984, to address the academic needs of teens who were dropping out of school as a result of an untimely pregnancy, our Board of Directors, in collaboration with the Bangor School Department established the Teen Parent Education Program. Young women ages 14 to 20 attend our school program to earn their high school diplomas. The curriculum is individualized and the students earn the academic credits required for their diplomas while also taking electives that focus on healthy parenting, financial literacy, career development, communication skills, and personal wellness. We provide a nurturing, safe environment where bullying and violence is not tolerated.
In order to meet the needs of our students, we also established an on-site childcare center with a curriculum focused on healthy social,emotional, and cognitive development with the ultimate goal of school readiness. We take a very holistic approach as we have the benefit of working with both mother and child. In helping to guide and raise the student’s aspirations for herself and her child, we are able to have a greater impact on both.
In 1999, we moved to our current location in order to expand our childcare center so that students who go on to school or work can continue to have their children in the center. In addition, we made the center large enough to serve other children from the community.