Dianne DeVanna – Timeline of Events

1/12/1967 Dianne DeVanna is born. Although little is known about her early years, we understand that her parents lived in CA.
1972 Dianne’s mother dies of cancer.
1974 Dianne and her father return to MA from CA.
1975 Dianne’s father marries her stepmother.
1976  It is reported that there is not enough room in the family’s home for Dianne and she is placed in foster care. During the next three years, she is in three foster placements in Braintree, Hanover, and Randolph and receives care in a residential program.
8/1/1978 Dianne is returned to her father and stepmother’s care after legal proceedings. The parents register Dianne for school in Braintree. However, she never attends.
9/21/1978 Braintree Public Schools nurse and psychologist go to the DeVanna home and are told Dianne is not home at that time.
9/23/1978 A call is made by a man requesting an ambulance to the DeVanna home. Police and first responders arrive and find Dianne unconscious. She is transported to South Shore Hospital and dies from a subdural hematoma, which is believed to be due to trauma to her head.
9/26/1978 Dianne’s father and stepmother are charged in Dianne’s death.
9/29/1978 A private Mass of the Angels is offered at Saint Clare Parish in Braintree. Dianne is buried in an unmarked grave.
10/1978 A fund is begun by Stephen McAlarney of Braintree and Robert Lyons of Hanover to “try to give Dianne DeVanna the respect and dignity in death she never had in life.” The Town of Braintree generously pays for the cost of the burial.
11/20/1978 A living memorial is established and a kick-off meeting for The Dianne DeVanna Center is attended by 150 community members who come together to respond to the issues related to child abuse.
12/4/1978 100 volunteers are trained to staff a 24-hour, 7 days a week careline for parents.
1/1/1979 Careline is introduced.
3/8/1979 Careline services begin. Trained community members, mostly parents, provide education and support to parents under stress.
3/31/1979 Six months later, Dianne’s father and stepmother plead guilty to Dianne’s death. Her father is charged with second-degree murder and sentenced to life in prison. Dianne’s stepmother pleads guilty to manslaughter and is sentenced to 19-20 years in Framingham.
8/17/1979 80 Volunteers Strong provides 24-7 Care-Line to parents.
1981 The Parent Aide program is introduced to offer direct contact, education, and support.
1982-1988 The DeVanna Center staff and volunteers provide numerous educational and family support events.
10/1988 Careline is replaced with a statewide  Parent Stress Hotline initiative.
1993 Transportation Services begin for children in foster care to visit parents.
9/2012 The Dianne DeVanna Center is welcomed into Bay State Community Services Continuum of Care making it one of the most comprehensive child social service agencies on the South Shore.