Norma Wassel presenting the Jane Addams Award to Norman Beach

NORMAN BEACH, Jane Addams Award for Outstanding Social Service Accomplishments. The Jane Addams Award for Outstanding Social Service Accomplishments honors a staff social worker or social service advocate who exemplifies a commitment to clients through his or her advocacy, support and dedication. The Addams Award recognizes the profound impact of social workers and social service advocates serving as members of a legal team. It is named for Jane Addams, a pioneer in establishing the field of social work and the first American woman to be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. 

During the four years that he has worked in our public defender offices in Roxbury, Norman Beach has demonstrated outstanding compassion and commitment to our clients, often going above and beyond what is expected in the Social Service Advocate’s role. He has been able to provide both therapeutic and practical support to clients that have not only impacted the outcome of their legal case but their lives as well.

Throughout his career, Norman’s work has been defined by his strong advocacy in giving voice to the most marginalized, such as those affected by domestic violence, mental illness, poverty, substance abuse, and trauma.

His first human service job was helping to develop Project TRUST, a program at Boston Medical Center. This was one of the first HIV testing and support sites for those struggling with addiction. This experience motivated Norman to return to school and he enrolled at Cambridge College where he received a Master in Education in Counseling Psychology. He accomplished this while working full-time and attending classes in the evenings and on weekends.

Norman then became the Director of Common Purpose’s program in Dorchester, working with individuals involved with domestic violence. His next position was at TOCA as director of their Chelsea program working with at-risk youth, which included peacemaking circles for street and gang-involved individuals. Later, as Director of STRIVE, he initiated re-entry support services for men being released from the Suffolk County House of Correction. Having previously worked at the Family Center in Somerville, Norman then returned to family work, establishing his own independent practice, the Family Assessment and Stabilization Team, primarily in the Roxbury and Dorchester areas.

Norman has brought this extensive experience to his work here at CPCS where his compassion and determination continues to benefit our clients.