Office of Foster Care employee a person of courage

The Bridge of Central Massachusetts and Safe Homes honors Michael McManus

By Lisa Dayne

UMass Medical School Communications

March 15, 2011
Michael McManus 

Michael McManus, director of training and technical assistance in Commonwealth Medicine’s Office of Foster Care and Adoption (OFCA), will receive a People of Courage Award from The Bridge of Central Massachusetts and Safe Homes on Wednesday, March 16.

The Bridge of Central Massachusetts is a human service agency in Worcester that provides services to individuals with physical or intellectual disabilities, severe and persistent mental health issues, and/or substance abuse challenges. Safe Homes, one of 41 programs operated by The Bridge, provides support and resources for gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and questioning (GLBTQ) young people between the ages of 14 and 23.

McManus, who was nominated by his colleague and OFCA Director Martha Henry, PhD, will receive the Public Service Award, which recognizes an individual working in a nonprofit, educational or government setting who advocates change in policy and services related to GLBTQ issues. “Michael has been very active in Central Massachusetts and statewide communities promoting equal rights for all,” said Dr. Henry. “He was the primary advocate for having information about supporting children and youth in foster care who identify gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgendered, or who are questioning their sexual orientation, included in mandatory training curriculum for prospective foster and adoptive parents.” 

“From both personal and professional experiences, I am often reminded of the biases there are toward youth who identify as GLBTQ,” said McManus. “I feel so fortunate to be able to contribute to the knowledge base for serving children, youth and families. I am incredibly humbled by this award and am thankful for the opportunity to be able to inform this critical work.” 

The People of Courage Awards were established in 2005 to recognize individuals and businesses that have made a difference in the lives of GLBTQ youth in Central Massachusetts. Community volunteers solicit nominations from the public, select the honorees and organize the event at which the awards are presented. 

The Bridge of Central Massachusetts and Safe Homes help more than 300 GLBTQ youth each year through services including a weekly drop-in center, the transgender support group “T-Time,” one-on-one counseling, trainings and outreach.

About the Office of Foster Care and Adoption 

The Office of Foster Care and Adoption (OFCA) provides objective, evidence-based resources, education, and training for professionals who work with children of adoption and foster care as well as for birth, foster and adoptive families. Services and resources provided by OFCA to professionals and families interested in foster care and adoption issues include professional development, large-scale training programs, consultation services, program evaluation, adoption consultation and post-placement resources. For more information,  

About Commonwealth Medicine 

Commonwealth Medicine (CWM) is the public, nonprofit health care consulting and service organization founded by UMass Medical School. Government agencies, nonprofits and managed care organizations benefit from CWM’s expertise in clinical service delivery, health care financing strategies, policy management and quality improvement. CWM programs have helped Massachusetts—and many other state, international and local health care agencies—to increase the value of health care expenditures while improving access and delivery of care to at-risk and uninsured populations. Commonwealth Medicine programs were developed, in part, as a way for UMMS faculty and staff to have a direct and profound impact on the communities of Massachusetts, and now provide critical opportunities for UMMS faculty and students to serve the community. For more information