Family Service Association

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  • Categories Mental Health & Social Services , Non-Profit Organization
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Company Description

Agency Mission:

We are committed to providing a wide array of high quality programs and services designed to strengthen and support individuals and families and to addressing the social service needs of our very diverse and changing communities.

Our History:

Organized social work in the Greater Fall River community received its impetus in January of 1888, during a meeting of the Fruit and Flower Mission. A Citizens’ Committee of thirty-one, chosen that evening, met to consider organizing the Associated Charities of Fall River. On January 28, 1888, a constitution was submitted and adopted, two rooms were procured in the Durfee Bank Building and in June, the agency officially opened.

The organization functioned as a prominent civic and a social agency. It was later incorporated as The Associated Charities. In 1918, the name changed to the Association for Community Welfare, in 1935 to the Family Welfare Association, and in 1946 to Family Service Association of Greater Fall River, Inc.

Throughout the many years of service to the community, Family Service Association (FSA) has always been committed to helping families and individuals live personally satisfying and socially useful lives.

During the early 1900s, the agency was actively involved in establishing programs for those in need of employment, children affected by unsanitary conditions at school buildings, the Almshouse, the local hospital and in tenement houses. The agency also assisted with health and nutrition; and helped those whose disabilities made them unable to work.

Family Service Association became an integral part of the community through its work with the Red Cross, the District Nursing Association and the other twelve agencies in the community at that time. FSA primarily addressed unemployment, sickness, mental health issues, desertion, indebtedness, imprisonment, domestic troubles, traveler aid issues and other problems requiring advice or assistance.

During the 1930s, the agency remained active in the community, expanding programs which included family casework. During the 1940s and 1950s, the agency gradually was able to expand services to advance its mission.

The societal upheaval during the 1960s allowed FSA to reclaim an activist perspective. The agency was directly involved in community organization activities, anti-poverty programs and coordination between various community services.

Since this period, the agency has continued to grow to serve the needs of the community. In the 1970s, FSA concentrated on the development of programs involving elder services, family life education, parent enrichment, outreach programs to children in the housing projects and counseling.

The 1980s created new programs and services at the agency. The purchase of a new home for the agency at 151 Rock Street allowed for extensive expansion and development of children, adult and elder programs. These included elder foster placement, day care services for children and elders, adolescent residential programs, crisis intervention services, counseling programs, an employee assistance program, guardianship services for elders and many community outreach activities.

Due to the increased number of programs and staff, FSA purchased an additional nearby building in order to accommodate the continued growth in the agency and the continued provision of quality services. This facility was later re-sold and new agency headquarters were established at 101 Rock Street in the summer of 2001. The steady growth of programs and services continued, necessitating the purchase of another facility at 130 Rock Street in 2008 to house our Adult Family Care and Home Assistance Programs.

Today Family Service Association continues to provide professional services to individuals and families. These may vary from time to time, based on the ever-changing needs of the community.

Though the name has changed over the years, the purpose of Family Service Association has remained steadfast – to strengthen and improve individual and family life by offering help with the stresses encountered in daily living.