Richard Dorian, executive director of the Maine Children’s Home in Waterville, is leaving his position after serving for seven years. Dorian is shown Thursday at the home, located at 93 Silver St. Rich Abrahamson/Morning Sentinel

WATERVILLE — A longstanding institution at 93 Silver St. that works to build and strengthen families and children is seeking new leadership, as its executive director plans to leave the organization July 31.

Richard Dorian, executive director of the Maine Children’s Home since 2016, said he has enjoyed his tenure and it will be hard to leave the dedicated staff and board of directors. But the organization is in a good place as it conducts a national search for his successor, he said.

Dorian, who holds a master’s degree in divinity, served in a variety of part-time pastor roles at area churches during his time at the Children’s Home and said he has felt the call to return to full time ministry. He wanted to make sure everything was set at the Children’s Home before seriously looking, he said.

“I’m sure I’ll be a minister in a church somewhere by the fall — I just don’t know where yet,” Dorian said Thursday.

Dorian, of Wilton, said the Children’s Home is on a good trajectory. Its employees and board of directors worked hard during the COVID-19 pandemic, he said.

“I think that, even though this is a 124-year-old organization, we have really done extraordinary restructuring in every single program to make sure that they’re relevant, that we’re expanding what we’re doing and that we’re helping more people,” Dorian said.


With a $2.6 million annual budget, the nonprofit runs an adoption program; a state licensed family counseling center for individuals, couples, children and families; the Journey Program, which helps young parents acquire knowledge, tools and skills they need academically, financially and emotionally; the Connected Families Project, which offers training, workshops, resources and support groups to  foster nurturing environments families for children, youth and families to thrive; and a Christmas program that provides winter essentials, new toys, books and games to 1,200 Maine children whose families face financial hardship.

According to the Children’s Home website, the executive director salary is $100,000 to $125,000 plus benefits.

Ryan Kurr, president of the Children’s Home board of directors, said the organization is funded by individual and corporate donations, trusts that were set up in the past, Alfond Foundation grants and billed services.

“We’re a very multifaceted, mid-sized nonprofit and our funding reflects that,” Kurr said Thursday.

Asked about the adoption program, he said it supports not only the child who is adopted, but also the birth parents and the adoptive parents, for the rest of their lives. The program is Hague Accredited, meaning it has gone through a rigorous national qualification process.

“We do a lot of interstate adoptions,” Kurr said. “Usually a Maine family is adopting, but they may not be adopting a Maine-born child. We do do Maine-to-Maine adoption. We can assist in international adoptions.”


Kurr praised Dorian’s leadership, including improvements to facilities and programs.

“Rick has done a really tremendous job, and I am proud of the work he has accomplished,” Kurr said. “I’m personally just in awe of everything he has put forth in motion.”

Kurr said there are no plans to make changes after Dorian leaves, but the work in progress will continue, including facilities improvements, as well as upgrades to the counseling center so it is more targeted at children and family therapy. Work also is ongoing to replace siding on the administration building closest to Silver Street.

“There’s already a lot of exciting work happening to improve and grow the services of Maine Children’s Home and really provide exceptional services, and I expect that growth and development to continue as we go under new leadership,” Kurr said.

Under Dorian’s tenure, the organization increased the educational resources it offers to people who care for and work with children, making research-based and trauma-focused skills more accessible, according to a news release. The home adapted its programs in response to the coronavirus pandemic, offering remote services such as Telehealth counseling to clients in its family counseling program and remote parenting and caregiver classes via Zoom. Also, the home expanded its local partnerships to serve the community and more fully share its social work expertise.

Kurr said Dorian’s benevolence, empathy and tactical leadership guided the Children’s Home through some of the toughest periods in recent times and set the organization on an “exhilarating upward trajectory.”


“MCH’s board of directors, Rick, and our outstanding staff are collaborating with Starboard’s Leadership Consulting to identify the next executive director of Maine Children’s Home,” Kurr said. “We are eagerly anticipating what lies on the horizon for this remarkable organization. The future is bright because we walk it together.”

Dorian said Thursday that like other nonprofits, the organization counts on donations, grants and community support, but that support is down this year because the economy is off and people are struggling. He asked that those who appreciate what is being done there to continue to support it and increase their donations if they can.

“We’re being asked to do more than ever,” he said.

He noted that the Children’s Home will hold an open house and community block party with food trucks from 5 to 8 p.m. Aug. 17 so people can visit, see the work being done and learn about programs.


Maine Children’s Home


Founded: 1899

Annual operating budget: $2.9 million

Number of people served: More than 3,000 annually

Number of employees: 30

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