Spaulding for Children and Marcia Cipriani

Marcia Cipriani | Spaulding for Children

In the work life of a video producer, one client can change everything, even a career path. Case in point: Spaulding for Children and Marcia Cipriani.“Some projects change the business and some projects change you,” Ms. Cipriani said. “For me, Spaulding for Children did both. Spaulding was my first client, has proved my largest, and as I get ready for retirement, it will be my last.”Ms. Cipriani began her career working with a nonprofit that conducted training for people in the hospitality industry. At the time, the company utilized textbooks and slideshows, but realized that video would be a great teaching tool. Marcia moved into that field and, a short while later, spun off to form her own video production company. Marcia is writer, producer and director and manages a team of video professionals.Ms. Cipriani reported her first client was Spaulding for Children, then located in Chelsea. The agency then, as now, stood at the forefront in the new field of adoption for children with special needs.Spaulding had received an Adoption Opportunities grant from the Children’s Bureau to become the National Resource Center for Special Needs Adoption (NRC). Spaulding’s responsibilities included developing the Special Needs Adoption Curriculum, an educational program to train child welfare professionals. The team discovered that the videos Marcia produced to help document an intensive five-day training program were excellent teaching tools.Since that first curriculum, Ms. Cipriani has produced hundreds of hours of video for Spaulding – mostly national training and educational curriculums. In her work, she has developed the video components for topics that include Special Needs Adoption; Cultural Competence; Infant Adoption Awareness; CORE Teen; NTDC; QIC-AG and QIC-EY.“As we started researching the Special Needs Adoption Curriculum, I took a crash course in child welfare,” Ms. Cipriani said. “With Judy McKenzie (former President and CEO) and Drenda Lakin (former VP of the NRC) as my teachers, I quickly learned about the life experiences that bring children into care, the impact of those experiences, and the incredible resilience and commitment of the families who step up to care for them.  I was hooked. I wanted to use the power of my medium to tell their stories.  I’ve produced videos for many clients, but my heart has always been with Spaulding for Children.”Her works have chronicled and preserved the contributions of many individuals who have unselfishly served Spaulding, including Mike Lucci, Chuck Daly, John Barfield, Bob Daniels, and Isaiah McKinnon. She also has produced a large number of public service announcements and promotional videos on behalf of Spaulding.In her career Ms. Cipriani has witnessed video become the dominant way to communicate stories, train and teach. She also has observed many changes in child welfare, from the political and academic to societal norms and attitudes. For example, in the early ’90s, few were talking about white privilege, but Spaulding addressed the issue and its impact on adoption and foster care.In her second major project for Spaulding, Ms. Cipriani addressed the need for cultural competence in child welfare. She and her team joined with professional staff from Spaulding to visit five different communities of color.Ms. Cipriani enjoyed the honor of compiling her many decades of videography into Spaulding for Children’s 50th Anniversary video, “Seeds of Change” that depicted the work Spaulding does, along with the many changes that has occurred within the agency. Seeds of Change debuted at the inaugural Families in Bloom event in April of 2019. Click here to watch video.While Ms. Cipriani was an English major, the field of Social Work is integral to her family.  Both of her parents were MSW social workers. Her brother, sister-in-law, and niece also are social workers. Kris Henneman, Vice President of the Spaulding Institute for Family and Community Development, has often introduced Marcia as an “honorary social worker.”“What Spaulding has done is to advocate for these children and most importantly train and support the parents – that’s what Spaulding excels at,” Cipriani said. “When I look back at the body of work, and think of the thousands of people who have received training through our powerful and impactful video productions, I am very proud. And I am thankful to all the people I love and admire at Spaulding who mentored me as they were doing the really important work.”