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Please Help Support Northern’s Holiday Appeal!

“…if you’re looking for a worthy nonprofit to support with a little tax-deductible love this coming holiday season, I respectfully submit Northern Children’s Services for your consideration.” – Ronnie Polneczky, Philadelphia Daily News Columnist, October 6, 2016 


 Place matters to each and every one of us. But for the children and youth who rely on our mental wellness and child welfare programs – all of whom live at or below the poverty line – being in a safe, peaceful, and tranquil environment is essential to their healing from trauma they have experienced.  Some have faced violence, abuse, and neglect.  Some have been removed from their homes and placed in protective custody at Northern or in homes with foster parents.  Some have incarcerated and/or addicted parents. Some are pregnant or parenting themselves.Many struggle both academically and socially in school, and some have dropped out or are at great risk of dropping out.

Angel (not her real name) came to Northern when she was seventeen, pregnant with her second child and victimized by human trafficking.  Angel has been able to find refuge and much needed services on our campus for the trauma, mental health, and family issues that impact her daily.  She is just one example of the many young people we serve.

At Northern – a small slice of nature in the heart of Philadelphia – there is a focus on the incredible resilience and assets that each and every one of these young people possess.  Through a beautiful outdoor environment – that is as important to our work and programs as what happens inside each of our six buildings- we focus on building coping and practical skills that help support positive outcomes, not just today but well into the future.


Surrounded by the beauty and tranquility of our grounds, our youth, supported by trauma-trained, caring adults, tap into their incredible resilience as they heal, grow, and learn.  These young women and men begin to realize their value and potential.  They come to understand their own ability to transform themselves – regardless of background or life circumstances.

We need your support.  Your contribution of $50, $100, $200, $500, $1,000, $2,000 or whatever you can contribute, will help us make some of the needed repairs.  DONATE BY CLICKING HERE. Your donation will offer immediate resources that will be used to fix two of our roofs for young people like Angel.

For Northern to continue to provide our services in a safe haven that is central to the care, growth, and healing of the children, youth, and families that we serve, we need the resources to keep our facilities in good condition.  This is extremely challenging for us – while expenses go up, reimbursement rates from our public funders remain the same each year, or even go down.  Two of our aging buildings need new roofs, and new windows would allow us to conserve energy while controlling and reducing our heating and cooling costs.

Can we count on you this year?  In 2017, in addition to repairing our infrastructure, we are seeking to enhance aspects of our on-campus programs through the addition of things like a new, large vegetable garden and nutrition and cooking programs.

Thank you! Wishing all a wonderful holiday season.

Renata Cobbs-Fletcher
President & C.E.O.

Northern Statement on Recent Indictment of Former Employee

September 28, 2016:  In June 2014, Northern Children’s Services (Northern) learned, through its own internal investigation, that a former employee may have engaged in financial impropriety involving Northern’s funds.  We quickly notified law enforcement, and worked closely with the authorities in support of the investigation.

Sonya McQuillar, the former Northern employee, has been indicted on three federal charges:  two counts of “Theft from a Program Receiving Federal Funds”, and one count of “Lying to the F.B.I.”.

We want to reassure you that this unfortunate criminal act in no way affected the children and families we serve. 

Since this time, Northern’s leadership and Board of Trustees and staff have taken critical action steps to ensure that this unfortunate act will never be repeated .Northern has implemented new controls and brought on new team members in the areas of financial administration and compliance to make sure this action will not be repeated.

Northern is committed to sound financial stewardship and to delivering maximum support for our children, families and communities.  We are grateful to those who supported us in the investigation of this matter, and to law enforcement officials for their time and attention.

Please direct any and all inquiries to:  Renata Cobbs-Fletcher, President & C.E.O. (, 215-482-1423, ext. 1243), and Darcy Brazzle, Chief Compliance & Operations Officer (, 215-482-1243, ext. 1202.


NCS This Month: Giving Back to the Community

A Message from our President and CEO

Just like a garden, children begin as seedlings who blossom when lovingly nurtured, they have adequate room to grow, and they receive plenty of light. Thanks to Northern’s incredibly compassionate staff, sprawling 6-acre campus, and the August sunshine, these kids have shot up like rays of light, beaming from the gym to the pool.

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