Spring 2021 Newsletter
Dear Friends of FACS:
It is Springtime in Elizabeth, and with it comes a renewed sense of hope as we slowly emerge from the pandemic. Although we still have a long journey before we reach “normalcy”, I’m happy to report that our staff has been working throughout the pandemic, seeing some clients in person, and some via telehealth. Thank you to all of our friends and supporters for seeing us through this difficult time. We couldn’t do it without you!

Molly Fagan, LCSW
Executive Director
The Red Carpet Patio Party is Back for 2021!

Join us on the patio for the 9th annual Red Carpet Party! The Red Carpet Patio Party will feature all the festivities you’ve come to know and love – food, silent auction, and fashion show, but outside, under the tent at the Brooklake Country Club on Wednesday, June 9 at 7 pm. The event will also be streamed live for those who want to join virtually.
FACS Employee Group Focuses on Organizational Culture

Have you ever wished you could let your company know how you REALLY feel? FACS’ Trauma Informed Workgroup is a diverse group of staffers that makes recommendations to agency leadership on how to improve procedures and services for our vulnerable clients. Formed with the understanding that no one knows a job better than the person who’s doing it, the group focuses on ensuring that FACS’ consistently operates with a “trauma informed” lens. Simply put, everyone at FACS approaches clients (and each other), with empathy and the knowledge that most people have experienced at least one traumatic event in their lives - a traumatic event that may shape the way they view the world and may affect their mood and behavior. The Workgroup also analyzes social justice, diversity and inclusion issues and provides input on making ALL of our clients feel seen, heard, and respected, regardless of background.
Mental Health Therapy Group for High School Dropouts Addresses Trauma 

When Carlos* decided to drop out of high school at 16, his initial plan was to increase the hours he spent working at the local mall, move out of his mother’s apartment, and have some freedom. Unfortunately it didn’t take long for Carlos to realize that being successfully independent required more than a 10th education. FACS is proud to partner with the New Jersey Youth Corps (NJYC) of Elizabeth Program to offer our services to out of school youth. NJYC is open to out of school youth ages 16 to 25 years old to provide them with another chance at securing their high school diploma. Corps members develop self-discipline, personal responsibility, socialization, work readiness skills, and entry-level occupational skills. Because many youth who drop out of high school face other life challenges, including traumatic events, all participants take part in a six-week workshop with a licensed clinician from Family and Children's Services. Students learn the TARGET model, which teaches how to deal with stress at school and at work, how to recognize triggers, how to self-regulate and how to better handle their stress response system. While the program has been online the past year, we look forward to getting back to meeting in person soon.
*name has been changed for privacy

Over the past 12 months, FACS has held more than 6,000 mental health therapy sessions via telemental health! While its been a challenging year, we’re thrilled to share some feedback from a client survey on our services and staff:
As one client said about our staff: "They encourage you to engage in self care and that its ok to not be ok, and to ask for help when you need it most. They understand and they don’t judge you."
What's New at FACS
While some of our programs such as our Visitation and Family Reunification Program have been meeting in the office, staff members have been getting back to the office too! We look forward to having all our programs and staff back in the office.
Your support of Family and Children's Services allows us to provide much needed counseling, case management, basic needs, and other services to some of the Union County area’s most impoverished families. 

Jennifer Grisafi at jgrisafi@facsnj.org for more information.

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