Dare Family Services is a private, non-profit social service agency. It was founded in 1964 as one of the first residential programs for boys committed to institutional locked facilities operated by the Department of Youth Services. In the 1970s the agency evolved into an intensive foster care program for children in the care of the Department of Social Services, now called the Department of Children and Families. Through the next two decades, Dare Family Services expanded throughout Massachusetts. Today we operate six offices in Massachusetts and one in Connecticut.
The primary service we provide is Intensive Foster Care (known as Therapeutic Foster Care in Connecticut) for children and teens referred to us by the Department of Children and Families. Our central administrative office is located at 265 Medford Street, Suite 500 in Somerville, MA. Our phone numbers are (617)629-2710 or 1-800-592-0400, Fax (617)629-2713.
Dare Family Services also runs a residential program for pregnant and parenting teens in Newburyport, MA. Our agency also manages nine staffed apartments, sixteen shared living homes and six supervised independent homes for developmentally disabled adults.
Executive Management Team
Shaheer Mustafa,LICSW, CCDP
President & CEO
Shaheer Mustafa, LICSW, CCDP is the President and CEO of Dare Family Services Inc., joining the organization in September 2016. He brings a unique blend of both private nonprofit and public service experience with a clear focus on positive outcomes. Prior to joining Dare, he had been the Director of Areas for the Department of Children and Families Arlington and Coastal Area Offices, providing child protective services across 31 cities and towns in Norfolk and Middlesex Counties. There he developed a strong reputation due to his leadership in establishing improved permanency for children, reducing disproportionality in the foster care system and leading creative efforts to respond to the opiate crisis. Shaheer spent 10 years working in private nonprofits including his time as the Director of the Knight's Children’s Center, a residential school and treatment program of the Home for Little Wanderers. Shaheer has also been a faculty member at Simmons College Graduate School of Social Work, Urban Leadership program and is currently a Core Instructor for the Institute for Nonprofit Practice in affiliation with the Jonathan M. Tisch College of Civic Life at Tufts University. Shaheer’s work has been highlighted in numerous publications and is widely recognized a leader in the sector.
Prior to stepping into leadership positions, Shaheer worked as a therapist assisting children and families in overcoming the impact of complex stress using empowerment and strengths-based models of practice. He received both his B.S. in Sociology and Master’s in Clinical Social Work from Boston College and is certified as a Diversity Practitioner from Cornell’s School of Industrial Labor Relations. Shaheer also holds a certificate in Nonprofit Management and Leadership from the INML.