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Family & Children’s Agency Receives Grant from the Connecticut Office of Policy Management to Support Inter-Agency Tech Collaborative

Family & Children’s Agency (FCA) is the recipient of a grant worth over $200,000 from the Connecticut Office of Policy and Management (OPM) to support FCA’s involvement in the Fairfield County Information Technology Collaborative (FCITC). The Collaborative is a partnership between FCA, Family Centers of Greenwich and FSW of Bridgeport to create a shared technology platform. This funding will support the purchase of both software and hardware, along with user-trainings as the Agency implements a Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI).

“The VDI project is a critical component of Phase II of FCITC, which is centered on projects that will integrate and upgrade IT infrastructure and operations across the three agencies into a shared model,” said Robert F. Cashel, President & CEO of FCA. “This will enable the Agency to replace our current in-house infrastructure with a more cost-efficient and high-quality performing IT infrastructure.”

VDI will allow the Agency to work more efficiently by increasing both automation of tasks and user mobility. Moreover, it will increase cost efficiency and is projected to reduce FCA’s annual IT operating expenses by more than 40 percent.

The goal of FCITC is to enhance the client experience, improve performance and develop best practices for the 45,000 area residents the three agencies collectively reach each year. This initiative will strengthen each organization’s position as a leader in social and mental health services throughout Fairfield County.

Family & Children’s Agency Awarded Grant to Launch Caregiver Support Teams

Family & Children’s Agency (FCA) is the recipient of a grant from the Connecticut Department of Children and Families (DCF) to create Caregiver Support Teams, a new component of Family Support & Intervention Services. The role of the Caregiver Support Teams is to provide early, intensive home visitation and support to caregiving families for children who have been removed from their parent’s custody and placed with them. Ultimately, the goal is create a network of support for the families, increase placement permanency and produce a safe environment with as minimal disruption as possible for the child. This is a three-year contract from DCF, and FCA is the only agency throughout Fairfield County to have received the grant. FCA is in the beginning phases of rolling out this new program.

DCF has placed a heavy emphasis on supporting kinship caregivers through the Caregiver Support Teams and keeping children with family members.

“Children succeed best when they are familiar with their surroundings,” said Robert F. Cashel, President & CEO of FCA. “The Caregiver Support Teams will offer robust support and work closely with these families during this transitional period.”

The FCA Caregiver Support Team staff will offer support around the clock, seven days per week for families. The goal is to work with upwards of 35 families when the program is at full capacity.

“These teams will work with families to see what barriers they’re facing, what needs should be addressed and if there are cases of intergenerational trauma,” said Tiffany McCarthy, Director of Family Support and Intervention at FCA.

Family Support & Intervention Services at FCA assists families with issues that have led to DCF involvement. The goal is to promote the safety and well-being of all family members by maintaining and building on primary family connections, while connecting families to community resources as needed.

March is Women’s History Month—Spotlight on Girls’ Challenge

Since 1987, March has been designated as Women’s History Month, a time to highlight and acknowledge the contributions of women to events in history and society. Family & Children’s Agency nurtures young girls to become strong, successful leaders in the community through the Girls’ Challenge program, a component of the After School Program. This program helps girls in middle school explore issues and topics relevant to their lives, such as self-esteem, body image, peer pressure, self-care and stress management. They also work on team building, cooperation and communication to build leadership skills.

This past month, the girls wrote “Just Because” poems to express how they feel.

Just because I’m quiet
It doesn’t mean I’m not sociable
Doesn’t mean I’m hiding something
Doesn’t mean I’m not loud
Doesn’t mean I’m not fun
Just try talking to me instead of just looking
Just because I’m quiet.
-M.J.  Age 12

Just because I’m tough
It doesn’t mean I can’t love
Doesn’t mean I can’t have fun
Doesn’t mean I can’t smile
Just because I’m tough.
-C.B.  Age 12

Just because you think you’re ugly doesn’t mean you are
It doesn’t mean that you can’t be happy
Doesn’t mean you will always be sad
Just because you don’t have friends
It doesn’t mean you don’t have me
Doesn’t mean you will be lonely forever
Doesn’t mean you will always live like that
YOU HAVE ME; I’m here as you are here for me.
-M.P.  Age 13

Just because I am weird
It doesn’t mean you can bully me
Just because I’m different
Doesn’t mean you can treat me different
Just because we are us
Doesn’t mean you can change us
Just because we are who we are
Doesn’t mean we can’t make a team.
-M.G.  Age 12

Last chance to register for the Korean Roots Tour!

Attention all families who have adopted through Family & Children’s Agency’s Korean Adoption program! You are invited to participate in the 2014 Roots Family Tour this summer.

Contact Lisa Habasinksi for more details at (203) 523-5735 or email

Dear Families,

We invite you to join the 2014 Roots Family Tour to Korea this summer from July 1 through July 13. You and your family will be traveling throughout Korea, experiencing its rich history and culture, while reuniting with Korean Children 2old friends and making new ones.

As you return to your child’s country of birth, Korea’s many sights, sounds and tastes will enrich your journey. You will also explore your child’s beginnings by visiting the Social Welfare Society (SWS). The visit will include one of the SWS maternity shelters and baby reception centers. Your family may have the opportunity to make arrangements to meet your foster family and visit your bithplace. If your child was not adopted through the SWS, we will help you in making contact with the appropriate agency during your visit in Seoul.

During the trip you will be accompanied by an agency staff member and an English-speaking Korean travel guide. In preparation for the trip, you will be invited to an orientation workshop at Spence-Chapin Services, Family & Children’s Agency, or Americans for International Aid and Adoption. Join us in giving your child the gift of this special travel experience.


Click here to view the full itinerary for the 2014 Korean Roots Family Tour.

Click here to download registration papers.

Thank you to all who supported FCA on March 7 for Fairfield County Gives!

ScreenCaptureThank you to all who donated to Family & Children’s Agency this past March 7! 



On March 7, Family & Children’s Agency is joining hundreds of nonprofits throughout Fairfield County for Fairfield County Gives. Sponsored by the Fairfield County Community Foundation and Bank of America, Fairfield County Gives is a 24-hour period to give where you live.

FCA will be joining–and competing–with hundreds of nonprofits to garner the most donors.

What it is

  • The goal of Fairfield County Gives is to raise $1 million for nonprofits throughout Fairfield County.
  • Prizes will be given to nonprofits throughout the day, with the largest prize–$25,000–awarded to the organization with the most donors.

What you can doTell two friends

  • All donations must be a minimum of $10 and made through within the 24-hour period of March 7.
  • Tell a friend. In fact, tell two friends. Then ask them to tell two friends!
  • Get creative! Want to give $50? Give $10 five times to increase FCA’s donors.
  • Don’t forget to share this on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

Why you should donate

  • 89 cents of every dollar donated to Family & Children’s Agency goes directly to helping our clients.
  • It’s a fun way to come together as a community and reinforce the philanthropic spirit of Fairfield County.

Click here to donate to FCA on March 7!

Family & Children’s Agency Receives a Grant from the Fairfield County Community Foundation for Inter-Agency Tech Collaborative

Family & Children’s Agency (FCA), along with Family Centers of Greenwich and FSW of Bridgeport, is the recipient of a $25,000 grant from the Fairfield County Community Foundation (FCCF) for the Fairfield County Information Technology Collaborative (FCITC). The Collaborative is a partnership between these three nationally accredited family services agencies to create a shared technology platform. Ultimately, the goal is to enhance the client experience, improve performance and develop best practices for the 45,000 area residents they collectively reach each year. This initiative will strengthen each organization’s position as a leader in social and mental health services throughout Fairfield County. The grant will support the Collaborative and will equally benefit the service delivery of the three agencies.

(left to right) Dr. William Hass, President & CEO of FSW, Robert F. Cashel, President & CEO of FCA, and Robert M. Arnold, President & CEO of Family Centers.

(left to right) Dr. William Hass, President & CEO of FSW, Robert F. Cashel, President & CEO of FCA, and Robert M. Arnold, President & CEO of Family Centers.

“FCA is grateful for its longstanding partnership with FCCF and their support of the inter-agency IT Collaborative,” said Robert. F. Cashel, President & CEO of FCA. “This grant will support the continued work of the Collaborative to work toward delivering high-quality, cost-effective and outcome-driven programming.”

FCITC is concluding its first phase of implementation, which included the customization of software and supporting systems. This initial collaboration has provided each partner agency with a client management database, electronic medical records and new financial management tools. The second phase of FCITC is centered on projects that will integrate and upgrade IT infrastructure and operations across the three agencies into a shared model.

The Fairfield County Community Foundation promotes the growth of community and regional philanthropy to improve the quality of life throughout Fairfield County.  Individuals, families, corporations and organizations can establish charitable funds or contribute to existing funds.  The Foundation also provides philanthropic advisory services, and develops and leads initiatives to tackle critical community issues.  It is in compliance with the Council on Foundations’ national standards for community foundations. The Foundation has awarded $151 million in grants to nonprofits in Fairfield County and beyond.  For more information, please visit

Family & Children’s Agency receives Council on Accreditation renewal

Family & Children’s Agency (FCA) excelled in its recent evaluation from the Council on Accreditation (COA) of Services to Families and Children, an international, nonprofit family service and behavioral healthcare accrediting organization. The 8-month process, which included a self-study and in-depth site visit from COA professionals, found FCA meeting or exceeding national benchmarks in agency standards for everything from administration to client care. FCA has been fully accredited for more than 30 years.

The accreditation process occurs at all levels of the organization including the Board of Directors, leadership team and staff. Across the board, COA professionals who visited FCA found the Agency to be highly-qualified in all areas.

“The Agency is re-accredited every four years, which ensures that every program and all levels of staff keep current and continuously improve,” said Mary Ellen Hass, Executive Vice President of FCA. “It’s ultimately an opportunity to improve the quality of the services we provide.”

Robert F. Cashel, President & CEO of FCA, thanked the entire Board of Directors and staff who participated in the COA review process and for “always maintaining the high standards that are a hallmark of FCA.”

Earlier this year, FCA’s Adoption program also achieved Hague re-accreditation through COA.

COA was found in 1977 by the Child Welfare League of America and Family Service America (now the Alliance for Children and Families). Originally known as an accrediting body for family and children’s agencies, COA has accredited over 2,000 private and public organizations and programs that serve more than 7 million individuals and families in the United State, Canada and overseas. To learn more, visit

Holiday Happenings Roundup

Family & Children’s Agency collected over 1,000 toys for clients this year—and we could not have done it without your help. The Agency would like to thank all who donated and volunteered their time to help make someone else’s holiday special by either donating toys, sponsoring a family, providing a meal or hosting a program 5

 Thank you and happy holidays from Family and Children’s Agency!

95.9 The FOX and 99.1 WPLR Chaz & AJ Toy Drive
Angela Casucci
Children’s Aid
Chilton Family
Darien Girl Scout Troop 50152
FactSet Research Systems
Fairfield County Bank
GE Capital photo 3 (1)
General Re Insurance
Girl Scouts—Brownie Troop 50302
Julene Greenshields
Hitachi Capital America
Junior Board of Directors
Krivoshik Family
Managers Investment Group LLC
Mecca Family
Media Storm
New America Marketing
Nickel Family
Norwalk Community College
Norwalk Hospital
Norwalk Hospital—Surgical Floor
Ox Ridge Elementary
Pepperidge Farm
Helen Skippers
Terex Corporationphoto 4 (1)
Trinity Church
Wilton YMCA
Winston Prep School

New Norwalk and Hartford Adoption Information Meetings for 2014

Anyone considering adopting a child and growing their family has many questions.

  • Is adoption right for me?
  • Where will my child come from?
  • What age child should we consider–infant, toddler, preschooler, older?
  • Will he/she be healthy?
  • How will our family dynamics change?
  • How does the whole adoption process work?
  • How long will it take to find a child that I can love and cherish?

Attend a FREE information session with Family & Children’s Agency to learn more about adoption through FCA and answer your questions. Information sessions are held each month in Norwalk and Hartford.


Thursday, January 23
Thursday, February 27
Thursday, March 13
Thursday, April 17
Thursday, May 22
Thursday, June 19
Thursday, July 17
Thursday, August 21
Thursday, September 11
Thursday, October 9
Thursday, November 6
Thursday, December 11

Location: 9 Mott Avenue, 4th Floor, Norwalk, CT 06850

Time: 5:30 – 7:30 p.m.

Registration: Register online or Contact Mary Kate Locke at (203) 523-5754 or via email at


Monday, January 7
Monday, February 4
Monday, March 4
Monday, April 1
Monday, May 6
Monday, June 3
Monday, July 1
Monday, August 5
Monday, September 9
Monday, October 7
Monday, November 4
Monday, December 2

Location: 151 New Park Avenue, Hartford, CT 06106

Time: 6:00 to 8:00 p.m.

Registration: Register online or contact Jane Coughlin at  (860) 586-2365 or via email at

Family & Children’s Agency Collects Over 160 Thanksgiving Meal Baskets!

“No one has ever become poor by giving.” — Anne Frank


Last year, Family & Children’s Agency (FCA) collected over 70 meal baskets for clients of all ages. This year, that number has doubled with over 160 meal baskets! Thank you to all our friends of the Agency and community partners for your generous donations this Thanksgiving season. As you sit around your table this year, know that someone is enjoying a meal with their family because of you. We wish you all a very happy Thanksgiving!

Thank you…

Tumble Bugs Day School

Carousel Child Care

Tutor Time

Bright Horizons

Zion’s Hill

St. Patrick’s Church


New Beginnings 

Terex Corporation

Children’s Aid of Darien

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