Foster Care Open House – Learn about becoming a Foster Parent
Opening your home and heart to a young person in need can make a huge difference in their lives. If you or someone you know have questions or are interested in becoming a foster parent, please join us.
RSVP to Karen Clark at 203-523-5329 or KClark@fcagency.org for the link.
A TALE OF RESILIENCE: MALIA’S IICAPS JOURNEY
At 14 years old, Malia was literally hiding from the world, ensconced in hoodies to hide her face and never speaking above a whisper. Struggling with both hearing and seeing things that others couldn’t while isolating herself, she faced her serious mental health issues alone.
But then, the FCA’s Intensive In-Home Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Services (IICAPS) program came into her life and Malia discovered a safe and supportive space. Through the program, she learned to connect with others, forming friendships that she hadn’t thought possible. She even took a step many wouldn’t have expected— she attended her prom, a testament to her growing confidence.
With the help of IICAPS, Malia found the strength to open up to her family about her challenges and no longer had to shoulder her burdens alone. Thanks to the profound impact of FCA’s professional care, Malia learned strategies to manage her mental illness, gaining tools that empowered her to navigate her hallucinations without needing to be hospitalized.
Now, Malia is stable, attending school, and is optimistic about her future. “Thanks to IICAPS I learned that my mental illness doesn’t define me,” said Malia.
Honoring Dan O'Connor
The Anne C. Cary Volunteerism Award is presented to an individual who has demonstrated the highest level of volunteerism on behalf of Family & Children’s Agency. The award is named in honor of Anne C. Cary, who was involved in nearly every aspect of volunteerism at the Agency for over 25 years. Anne volunteered in FCA’s Maternal Child programs and provided clients with literacy education and support. She was also a Board member and worked on a variety of fundraising initiatives, including hosting a fashion show and a Mother’s Day Tea in Darien.
This year’s Anne C. Cary Volunteerism Award is presented to Daniel F. O’Connor.
Dan has been an integral part of FCA’s Board of Directors since 2006, dedicating his time and expertise to further our mission. Over the years, he has been actively involved in several committees including the Adult and Senior Program Committee from 2014 to 2016 and the Risk Management Committee from 2014 to the present. With a wealth of experience in the insurance industry, Dan’s insights have been invaluable in the Risk Management Committee’s diligent assessment of potential risks and liabilities associated with service delivery.
One of Dan’s remarkable contributions is his unwavering commitment to our annual review of Agency insurance policies, playing a pivotal role in the meticulous evaluation of all Agency insurance coverages providing essential guidance to our management team.
In recognition of his remarkable years of service on our Board, which have undeniably enhanced the Agency’s operation and effectiveness, we are thrilled to honor Dan O’Connor with the 2023 Anne C. Cary Volunteerism Award.
Honoring Lone Pine Foundation, Inc.
During our Annual Meeting we presented Lone Pine Foundation, Inc. with the William O. Murphy Family Strengthening Award.
The William O. Murphy Family Strengthening Award recognizes individuals and/or organizations in the community whose contributions have dramatically impacted FCA’s ability to strengthen and stabilize families. The award is named in honor of William O. Murphy, who was affiliated with the Agency for nearly 30 years. He was a sponsor of the Agency’s annual Golf for 22 years and served on the Agency’s Board for 10 years, four of them as Chair. His passion for at-risk youth lead him to be one of the strongest advocates of the Agency’s ASPIRE after-school program and, in 2012, he was recognized as the Anne C. Cary Volunteerism Award recipient.
This year’s William O. Murphy Family Strengthening Award is presented to Lone Pine Foundation, Inc. Lone Pine Foundation’s journey alongside FCA began in 2005, and over the course of 18 years, their philanthropic commitment has been nothing short of transformative. With total contributions exceeding $3.6 million, Lone Pine Foundation has steadfastly supported a diverse range of FCA programs, general operating expenses, the ASPIRE after-school program, Child & Family Development, and the critically important COVID-19 Relief Fund.
Yet, Lone Pine Foundation’s impact extends far beyond the programs themselves. Their generous contributions have also bolstered essential behind-the-scenes needs crucial to the Agency’s operation. From funding general operating expenses to addressing IT requirements and capital investments, Lone Pine Foundation has facilitated leadership training, staff retreats, conference participation, and the provision of essential computer equipment. Their support has not only nurtured the growth of our dedicated staff but also fortified our operational infrastructure.
Lone Pine Foundation has become an indelible part of FCA’s tapestry, leaving an enduring mark on our work. Their unwavering commitment to our mission, comprehensive support across multiple areas, and spirit of collaboration has strengthened and stabilized thousands in our community. We are deeply grateful to Lone Pine Foundation and we are honored to present them with the 2023 William O. Murphy Family Strengthening Award.
New Behavioral Health Programs Debut
We are thrilled to announce that FCA’s Behavioral Health department is expanding its reach in the community with the introduction of two programs.
The first, Multi-Systemic Therapy (MST), is an in-home program designed to support teenagers and their families in achieving long-term improvements in mental health. By providing comprehensive support in the comfort of their homes, MST aims to empower families and create lasting positive change.
The second addition to our roster is the Pre-Trial Intervention Program (PTIP), a recovery-oriented system of care. PTIP serves criminal court defendants dealing with issues related to substance use and driving under the influence. Our dedicated PTIP team is committed to helping individuals on their path to recovery.
Not only do these new programs enhance the breadth and depth of services we offer, but they also mark a momentous growth in our team. We have doubled the number of staff members in the Behavioral Health department and anticipate serving more than 400 clients each year in these new programs with the highest level of care.
Honoring Maria Wilcox
During our Annual Meeting we were able to honor retiring Board Member Maria Wilcox.
Maria's journey with Family & Children's Agency is one that truly exemplifies dedication, unwavering commitment, and a passion for making a meaningful difference in the lives of those we serve.
Maria's connection with FCA began in 2007 when she generously volunteered her time and resources. This introduction was facilitated by our former Board Vice-Chair, Sheryl Williams, who recognized in Maria the potential for a profound impact. And she was right.
In October of 2009, Maria officially joined the Family & Children's Agency Board of Directors, setting in motion a journey that would span over a decade. Throughout her tenure on the Board, Maria immersed herself in every facet of our work, participating in numerous committees and taskforces, including Board Governance, Finance, Fund Development, Adult and Seniors Program Committee, Facilities, Merger and Acquisition Taskforce, Friends of FCA Committee, the Communications Workgroup, and Board Executive Committee. In every discussion, she brought sound wisdom, unwavering judgment, and her invaluable financial expertise, which has been a true asset to our agency.
But Maria's contributions did not stop there. She extended her generosity to our clients, donating Thanksgiving turkeys, delivering fresh fruit to clients experiencing homelessness, and held a gathering at her home to showcase volunteer opportunities at FCA. She donated raffle items for various FCA events and has been a regular sponsor of our Golf & Tennis Classic. In addition, she and her husband, Tom, have been exceptionally generous financial supporters of FCA. She has demonstrated the spirit of giving in every possible way.
Perhaps one of Maria's most outstanding contributions was her instrumental role in our annual IMAGINE event. She served as the Chair an incredible seven times, leading our fundraising efforts to achieve enormous successes each year.
In 2012, she took on the role of Vice-Chair, and later, in 2019, she assumed the position of Board Chair. One of the most defining chapters of Maria's tenure on the Board of Directors was her role in guiding FCA through the unprecedented challenges brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic. Her leadership proved to be invaluable as we navigated uncharted waters of not only health-related challenges but also complex financial situations that required sound decision-making.
It's not only Maria who has made a significant impact on our agency; Tom and their sons, Tony and Mickey, have embraced the value of giving back to those in need.
As Maria transitions from the Board of Directors, we want to express our deepest gratitude for her enduring commitment, unwavering dedication, and profound impact on Family & Children's Agency. She leaves a legacy of compassion, leadership, and a commitment to our mission.
Maria, on behalf of the Board, staff, volunteers, and the countless lives you've touched, we extend our heartfelt appreciation for everything you've done. Your work has made a profound difference, and your spirit will forever be a part of the Family & Children's Agency. Thank you for being a true champion of our cause.
Dine Out for Charity: Sedona Taphouse Mondays in November
Location: Sedona Taphouse 515 West Ave Norwalk, CT
FCA will be the recipient of Sedona Taphouse’s Dine Out for Charity on Mondays during the month of November! Enjoy 50% off a great meal at Sedona Taphouse while supporting FCA. For every half price 8 oz. Black Angus Flat Iron Steak entrée sold, they'll donate $2 to FCA! (Fine Print: You must purchase a beverage, and the promotion is limited to one entrée per person.)
Virtual Conversation - Building Foundations for Success: Nurturing Growth and Development in Early Childhood
12 - 1 PM
Birth to age 5 are critical years in the development of a child. Evidence shows that children who are behind by the time they reach kindergarten will likely remain behind throughout their education.
Join us for a conversation about how to ensure our children are ready to learn when they enter kindergarten and the steps being taken in Norwalk to help parents, screen children, connect families with early intervention, and increase kindergarten readiness. You'll get actionable tips for supporting your own children and those in your community.
Family & Children’s Agency (FCA) is a leader in providing social services to our community and is proud to host this virtual conversation with:
Growing Seeds Child Development Center
Stephanie Croswell knows first hand the challenges and successes of young learners and their families. In her 24 years of helping families from all backgrounds, Stephanie has helped families and their children navigate all areas of early childhood development. As owner and director of Growing Seeds Child Development Center, Stephanie creates a fun, playful, verbalizing, and engaging experience for her students.
Devoted to early childhood education her entire adult life, Stephanie attended Virginia State University and obtained her directors credential from Norwalk Community College. She enjoys spending time with her husband, Eric, and their three children, Kayla, Brandon, and Erin.
Mary Kate Locke, LCSW
Vice President, Youth and Family Empowerment
Family & Children's Agency
Mary Kate received a master’s degree in Social Work from SUNY Albany and has over 15 years of child welfare experience.
Mary Kate joined FCA in 2005 and has held progressively senior positions during her tenure at the Agency. She is currently responsible for the overall operations of the Foster Care, Family Support, Child & Family Development, and Adoption programs.
She is also actively involved in community efforts for collective impact and maintains a prominent role within Norwalk ACTS, working to promote the success of children and youth in Norwalk along the cradle to career continuum.
Early Childhood Coordinator
City of Norwalk
Mary has been the Early Childhood Coordinator for the City of Norwalk since 2011.
As the city’s Early Childhood Coordinator, Mary coordinated the creation of the Early Childhood Action Plan for the Norwalk Early Childhood Council. She has helped in the implementation and expansion of the Ages and Stages Questionnaire (ASQ) as a citywide initiative in community, preschools, and home visiting programs throughout Norwalk.
Mary is a member of the Norwalk ACTS Implementation Team, the PK to K Transition Work Group, the city’s Food Access Task Force, and the Norwalk Early Childhood Collaborative. She is also a member of the Connecticut Early Childhood Alliance Steering Committee.
A resident of Norwalk, Mary received a master’s degree in teaching from Sacred Heart University and a bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education from Western Michigan University.
Robert F. Cashel, LCSW
President & CEO
Family & Children's Agency
For more than 17 years, Rob has been President & CEO of FCA, where he is responsible for the multi-service human service organization with more than 200 staff. Rob has developed key partnerships in the community while also establishing formal relationships with numerous private and corporate foundations.
Rob, a licensed clinical social worker, is currently on the Board and Executive Committee of the Connecticut Council of Family Service Agencies (CCFSA) and is also on the Board of Norwalk ACTS.
Rob has a bachelor’s degree in Political Science from Syracuse University and a master’s degree in Social Work from Fordham University. He is also a certified marriage and family therapist and a certified alcoholism counselor.
Minks to Sinks Fall 2023 Sale
Minks to Sinks is returning!
Consign/Donate: October 3-5 Sale: October 7 - 9
Minks to Sinks is the ultimate treasure hunt where you can discover amazing deals on pre-loved items for your home, wardrobe, and more! From chic clothing to stylish home decor, you'll find it all under one roof. All proceeds benefit FCA and help neighbors right here in our community.
Do you have gently used items that could use a new home? Don't toss them! Donate or consign them with us, and let someone else fall in love with your stuff!
Let's make this the most memorable Minks to Sinks yet! Join us for a day of shopping, laughter, and awesome finds. Who knows, you might just stumble upon your next favorite thing!
Location: Brooklawn Country Club 500 Algonquin Road Fairfield, CT
Mark your calendars and keep an eye out for a formal invitation to Family & Children's Agency's (FCA) Golf Classic!
Enjoy the rolling hills, lush greens, and picturesque water hazards at this incredible course while supporting FCA's vital community services. Whether you're competitive on the course or just in for a day of fun, this event brings golf enthusiasts together for an incredible cause.
We are thrilled to be welcoming Jeff Benedict, bestselling author and film and television producer, to our annual Golf Classic! Jeff will be joining forces with bestselling author and esteemed sports journalist Armen Keteyian for an engaging Q&A session. Prepare yourself for an exclusive glimpse into the captivating world of sports as these extraordinary personalities share their invaluable insights and behind-the-scenes stories.
Special Guest Jeff is the bestselling author of 17 non-fiction books and a film and television producer. His latest book LEBRON was an instant bestseller that the Los Angeles Times called “masterful."Jeff is the co-author of the #1 New York Times bestseller Tiger Woods, which was published in 15 languages. The book was the basis of the Emmy-nominated HBO documentary “Tiger,” which Jeff executive produced. The Dynasty, the definitive inside story of the New England Patriots under Robert Kraft, Bill Belichick, and Tom Brady, was a New York Times bestseller. The book is the basis of a forthcoming 10-part documentary series for Apple TV+, which Jeff is executive producing. His critically acclaimed book Poisoned is the basis of a forthcoming Netflix documentary executive produced by Jeff. His legal thriller Little Pink House was adapted into a motion picture starring Catherine Keener and Jeanne Tripplehorn. He also wrote Steve Young’s New York Times bestselling autobiography QB, which was the basis of an NFL Films documentary.