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Family Service Center is a private, not-for-profit agency dedicated to enhancing the potential for growth of individuals and families. The Center strives to help people pursue healthy, independent, and fulfilling lives through the provision of counseling, education, and related social services.
The Center is committed to the creation and support of policies and programs consistent with its purposes that seek to improve the quality of life in the community and to cooperate with other agencies and organizations similarly engaged.
In 1914 at the behest of the Galveston Commercial Association, an organization known as United Charities was founded with the purpose of dispensing relief to families in need. Until 1923 it collected funds through private solicitation and worked with the County Commissioner? s Court in providing relief and casework services to the indigent. In 1923 the Galveston Community Chest was formed and became the principal source of support to the Agency (United Charities), which then increased its staff and services to act as Probation Officer and handler of cases such as referral of persons to state institutions.
In 1932 the Agency was incorporated under the name of the Family Welfare Bureau of Galveston and continued providing relief and casework services, particularly to the unemployed. In 1936 the Board of Directors employed a more highly trained Executive Director and began emphasizing casework services. The name of the agency was changed in 1953 to the Family Service Bureau. It stated its purpose as the following:
a.To foster the development of wholesome family life by helping families and individuals disorganized by environmental and personality factors to achieve normal living, or where this is not possible, to make such adjustment as will best serve the welfare of the individual in the interest of society.
b.To cooperate with organizations and individuals similarly engaged, both locally and throughout the country, by exchange of information and otherwise.
c.To give direct or indirect relief or other aid to those who are in need of same.
d.To encourage and promote education and training of social workers.
The agency? s association with the Family Service Association of America (FSAA) began in the late 1940? s on a non-member affiliate basis. In 1959 full membership was attained. This membership was maintained until 1992.
In 1963, the Family Service Bureau of Galveston became Family Service of Galveston and in 1976 the name was once again changed, this time to the Family Service Center of Galveston County.
Until 2004, the Council on Accreditation of Services for Families and Children, a national standards? setting organization, accredited the Center. The Center is currently in the process of restoring that accreditation, which is expected provisionally in Fall, 2006.
Today, the Center employs a staff of 17 full-and part-time employees who work in four different program areas: Marriage and Family, Services to At-Risk Youth (STAR), Victim Services (VOCA), and Oasis for juveniles who have been sex offenders. Major funding comes form the State of Texas Division of Family and Protective Services, the Texas Governor? s Office Division of Criminal Justice, the County of Galveston Division of Juvenile Justice, the Kempner Fund, the United Way of Galveston, Mainland Communities United Way, and other community partners.
- Karen McWhorter
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