A brief history of our agency

 
 
 

In 1934

Ms. Borghild Boe was hired as the director of the Welfare Committee of the Visiting Nurse Association. As the director of the agency for more than twenty years, she would leave a legacy of excellence in social service delivery. The agency, then known as the Family Welfare Association of Beloit, was incorporated in 1935 with an annual budget of $5,764. Services were provided at the Pleasant Street Community Center.

In 1947

the agency changed its name to Family Service Association of Beloit to emphasize its role in providing services "rather than relief". The agency provided counseling specific to economic relief issues, "draft investigations", milk to school children, and child welfare services.

The 1950s

saw Family Services providing counseling for family relationships as well as "individual personality adjustments", a foster care program, and financial assistance for children, "food and fuel", clothing and medical cost reimbursements.

Services provided in 

the 1960s and 1970s

included counseling to families, (entailing a focus on "unwed mothers") and special services such as homemaker classes, traveler's aid, and recreational camp programs.

Family Services developed an Employee Assistance Program (EAP) for local employers in 

the 1980s.

Other services included a "Jusy Say No!" drug abuse program to supplement the agency's mainstay counseling program.

the agency continued to expand its

During

the 1990s,

out-patient mental health services and EAP contracts while bringing "on board" the Youth2Youth program to promote non-tobacco use among youth.

and...

within the past several years...

1. Family Services developed the Sexual Assault Recovery Program to assist and advocate for victims. The county-wide program was subsequently invited to expand services to Green County and later into Lafayette County.

2. Through the generous support of the Beloit Foundation, Mercy Health System, Ken and Diane Hendricks, and the Stateline Community Foundation, the agency acquired and renovated the shelter for Defy Domestic Abuse Beloit. 

3. Life Financial Solutions (formerly called the Consumer Credit Counseling Service Program) has processed over $2,000,000 of local consumer debt annually and partnered with community social service providers to offer individual financial counseling.

4. In 2012, thanks to the generosity of the Neese Family Foundation, we moved to new offices located at 416 College Street in Beloit. 

 

5. We developed (2017) the Neighborhood Resilience Project to help and empower residents of census tracts 16 and 18 in Beloit.  This project combines advocacy, education, support, and various forms of tangible resources to help parents of young children avoid homelessness and otherwise thrive.

 

Over this time span, the Youth2Youth program (for reducing substance abuse) and the Counseling program continued a long-standing tradition of providing services that matter.  It is impossible to calculate the significant impact these two programs have had on our community.

 

We’ve learned many lessons that have positioned us to take steps in developing in 2022 a twenty-unit apartment transitional living program with attached childcare for single parents with young children. This is both an infrastructure improvement effort as it increases the amount of affordable housing and opportunities for childcare, but also is a focused effort to facilitate parents’ sustainable access to the workforce.  This may be our most effect effort to help to end the multigenerational poverty. By helping young children experience safe and stable housing and have additional access to early childhood cognitive development and literacy we can help set the course for satisfying and successful lives.

 

We’re grateful to a community that has supported our work for passed the 87th anniversary of the agency. We are appreciative of all of those who have donated time, wisdom, tangible resources, and treasure to keep the work of the agency moving forward.  None of our services would have been possible without the broad and deep support of the communities we serve (shout out to Stateline United Way, and United Way of North Rock County: now merged as United Way Blackhawk Region) and the United Way of Green County. 

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Family Services is a partner agency with the United Way of Green County and the United Way Blackhawk Region.