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Our History

For 90 years Family Services of Southern Wisconsin has been a cornerstone for families in Rock County, championing the vital role of fostering family members' well-being for enduring generational success. Dedicated to empowering families to flourish, our efforts concentrate on amplifying the skills of parents and children alike, aiding them in achieving fulfilling and productive lives. Our methodology merges our deep-rooted experience in family services with in-depth research to foster resilience that lasts. As we mark our 90th anniversary in 2024, we reflect on our legacy and honor the pioneers who laid our foundation. Below, we present a historical timeline that narrates the journey of our agency.

It all started
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 eave a legacy of excellence in social service delivery. The agency, then know as Family Welfare Association of Beloit was incorporated in 1935 with an annual budget of $5764. Services were provided on the Pleasant Street Community Center.


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 the school children, and child welfare services.

In the 1950's

Family Services provided 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.

The 1960's & 70's

Services provided in the 1960's and 70's included counseling to families, (entailing a focus on "unwed mothers") and special services such as homemaker classes, traveler's aid, and recreational camp programs.

The 1980's

Family Services developed an Employee Assistance Program (EAP) for local employers. Other services included a "Just Say No!" drug abuse program to supplement the agency's mainstay counseling program.

The 1990's

Family Services continued to expand out-patient mental health services and EAP contract while bringing on board the Youth2Youth Program to promote non-tobacco use among youth.

Within the
past several

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

Through the generous support of the Beloit Foundation, Mercy Health System, Ken and Dian Hendricks and the Stateline Community i, the agency acquired and renovated a shelter for the DEFY Domestic Abuse Beloit program.

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

In 2012, thanks to the generosity of the Neese Family Foundation, Family Services moved into our main office located at 416 College Street, where we still reside today.

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

Over this time span, the Youth2Youth Program 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 have learned many lessons that have positioned us to take steps in developing in 2022 a  proposal for an 18-unit apartment transitional living program called Next Steps Family Resilience Center. Heading into a Capital Campaign in 2024, this center is a ground-breaking initiative that seeks to re-frame the approach to individual and family needs as well as potential changes to the community's well-being. Extensive analysis by economists has shown that the key to future community success is an investment in early childhood development and education; this has been shown to result in up to $9 return per $1 invested through increased positive social, health, and career outcomes (4).


Family Services of Southern Wisconsin extends heartfelt thanks to the community for its unwavering support over the past 90 years. We deeply value everyone who has contributed their time, knowledge, resources, and financial support, which have been pivotal in advancing our mission. Our ability to offer services would not have been feasible without the comprehensive and profound backing from the communities we serve and from those who have generously shared their resources.

The present

We are immensely thankful for the support from United Way Blackhawk Region and Green County United Way for our DEFY Domestic Abuse Beloit and SARP (Sexual Assault Recovery Program) initiatives. Their invaluable contributions play a pivotal role in the funding and success of these programs, enabling us to provide critical services to those in need. The backing from these esteemed organizations not only underscores the importance of our work but also amplifies our capacity to make a tangible difference in the lives of individuals and families affected by domestic violence and sexual assault. Their support is a testament to the power of community collaboration in addressing and mitigating these pressing issues, ensuring that our programs can continue to offer refuge, recovery, and resilience-building tools to our community members.

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