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Mission Moment Scholarship Fund

June 20th, 2018. Save the date for FCA’s 33rd annual Mission Moment Scholarship Fund. The event will be held at the NYIT deServersky Mansion in Glen Head, NY.

To register or become a sponsor, contact Marisa Paladino: 516.746.0350 x4364 or



Program Updates

FCA Provides Shelter and Guidance to Homeless Youth on Long Island

“The youth that come through our doors know that once they are a Walkabout kid, they will always be a Walkabout kid,” says Kristen Ferrari, Career Counselor at Walkabout for Young Men and Women in Freeport, New York.

The program, launched by the nonprofit Family & Children’s Association (FCA) in 1974, assists young people with building independent living skills to facilitate self-sufficiency and keep them off the streets. The transitional residence currently provides housing and services to five people (ages 16-20) for up to 24 months. Participation in the referral-based program is voluntary for residents who successfully meet the criteria. These guidelines include full or part-time employment, enrollment in a vocational training program or university, ongoing money management, the completion of skills-based training, and the ability to demonstrate responsible behavior through household chores and other tasks. Prospective residents are interviewed by Program Coordinator Andrea Kerr before being invited to a dinner with the residents.

“Walkabout’s residents are here because we see something special in them,” Ferrari explains. “Our goal is to help them realize their full potential so they can get back on their feet and break the cycle of poverty and homelessness that many Long Islanders don’t even know exists within some of the more affluent communities.”

FCA board member Bernie Kennedy cooks breakfast for residents.

Through a program called Step Up 2 Success, FCA staff help youth acquire a range of daily living skills, such as sewing, cleaning and cooking. Students from the New York Institute of Technology (NYIT) recently led a healthy eating workshop for residents. After the cooking lesson, residents and students enjoyed the nutritious meal they prepared together.

Walkabout participants also attend workshops organized by other FCA programs. Common topics include budget management, housing assistance (including information about leases and renter’s rights), and building a strong credit rating. Residents also take part in recreational activities, such as trips to the zoo, theater and restaurants.

Youth requiring additional support are linked to vocational and education planning services, individual and group counseling, medical and mental health resources, and family intervention services. Ferrari explains, “There are reasons why Walkabout participants have run away – some may have experienced abuse in the home or another type of trauma. Through our services, we strive for youth to achieve safety, stability and camaraderie in a space they can call their own.”

Bedroom decors are customized to residents’ tastes and preferences to make the environments as home-like as possible. Friendly visits from FCA executives help to make residents feel validated and appreciated, especially during the holidays when FCA Board member Bernie Kennedy cooks breakfast for Walkabout youth during a fun annual tradition at the agency.

“We treat these kids how we want to be treated – like people,” Ferrari says. “By showing them the dignity, support and respect they didn’t get on the streets, they have an opportunity to overcome obstacles and work toward a successful path in life.”

Kristen Ferrari, Career Counselor; Angela, Former Walkabout Resident

Ferrari has witnessed several residents follow that very path. “Angie came to Walkabout in 2015 barely speaking a word of English,” Ferrari recalls. “She was determined to succeed and worked very hard to graduate from high school. While attending school she became involved with a childcare program. Angie researched what she would need to do to become a licensed daycare provider and successfully opened her own daycare within months of graduating high school.”

Other former Walkabout residents are now employed at businesses throughout Long Island. Many youth are thriving in college and saving money for the future, using money management skills they gained at FCA.

“We are so proud of our Walkabout kids for having the determination to work hard and make their dreams a reality. The skills we teach them are for life,” Ferrari says.


For more information on FCA’s Walkabout for Young Men and Women program, please contact 516-379-8251 or visit

By Kelly Kass, Senior Writer, Marketing Works

Press Releases

Dynamic Long Island Organizations FCA & LICADD Roll Out New Professional Development Initiative, ALPHA

MINEOLA, NEW YORK, January 16, 2018 – The start of the New Year brings an exciting new professional development training institute to Long Island. ALPHA, Advanced Learning for Professionals in Health and Addiction, will advance the skills and knowledge of professionals working in the fields of Substance Use, Public Health, Human Services, Mental Health, Education, and others through engaging and practical workshops facilitated by Long Island’s leading public health experts. Family & Children’s Association (FCA) and affiliate Long Island Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (LICADD) rolled out ALPHA this month to share over a century’s worth of knowledge and experience to help the whole of Long Island move steps ahead of current and future public health issues.

ALPHA’s upcoming workshops include topics ranging from The Effects of Digital Media on Bio-Psycho-Social Wellness to understanding Co-Occurring Disorders and Anxiety in the 21st Century. ALPHA understands the rapidly changing landscape of public health and emphasizes the latest evidence-based methods, modalities and interventions for professionals to get measurable outcomes and quality results from the work they do each day. Long Island is also home to many leading and up-and-coming public health experts, many of whom are facilitating ALPHA workshops in addition to working on the frontlines of Long Island’s mental health clinics, addiction treatment & recovery centers, hospitals and school systems.

Dr. Jeffrey Reynolds, President/CEO, FCA, said of the new venture, “FCA has more than 130 years’ experience serving vulnerable Long Island families, providing ALPHA with a unique perspective and a great deal of expertise to share with those who dedicate their careers to health and human services.” Dr. Reynolds continued, “A venture such as ALPHA paves the way for us to get ahead of the growing healthcare demands and challenges to ultimately provide the best possible care and support for Long Island families. “

As an innovative extension of FCA and LICADD, ALPHA will embrace technologies such as web-based trainings to offer easier access to workshops and offer competitive rates. Workshop presenters are primarily Long Island-based and understand the landscape of public health issues specific to Long Island communities. ALPHA’s presenters are dynamic and experienced at making face-to-face workshops both memorable and valuable. ALPHA will also offer Continuing Education Unit (CEU) credits for licensed social workers and mental health counselors as well as CASAC renewal hours. ALPHA is also in the process of being able to provide CEUs to licensed marriage and family therapists.

Steve Chassman, Executive Director of Long Island Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (LICADD), said of ALPHA, “Professionals who work with families struggling with today’s public health and social justice issues now have ALPHA as a place to advance their knowledge and skills to better the communities they serve. ALPHA is focused on bringing high quality and cutting-edge professional development workshops to those who dedicate their careers to changing lives”.

ALPHA workshops will be offered starting January 2018.  They will be held at a wide selection of Nassau and Suffolk locations, which make ALPHA workshops easily accessible to professionals from all across Long Island, New York City and beyond. For a list of upcoming workshops and locations, please visit: To receive information about upcoming ALPHA workshops, email Jinny Ferro, Director of Education and Training, FCA at


Upcoming ALPHA Workshops:

01/26/18: Sibling Abuse: Assessment & Intervention

01/30/18: “I Just Can’t!”: Anxiety in the 21st Century

02/09/18: Four Degrees of Personality: The Art of Interpersonal Communication

02/16/18: Emotional Regulation: Finding Balance in a Tilted World

02/23/18: Co-Occurring Disorders: Engagement & Treatment Modalities

03/02/18: Working with Medication Assisted Treatment for Today’s Substance User

03/06/18: You’re Worth It! Working with Clients Impacted by Intimate Partner Violence

03/16/18: What’s the Harm in That? Harm Reduction Interventions for Better Health Outcomes

03/20/18: Behind the Screens: The Effects of Digital Media on Bio-Psycho-Social Wellness

03/30/18: Attachment Theory and Its Implications in Working with Families


About Family & Children’s Association (FCA)

Family & Children’s Association (FCA) is a not-for-profit agency helping nearly 20,000 of our neighbors each year. For more than 130 years, the organization has worked to protect and strengthen vulnerable children, seniors, families and communities on Long Island.

Through an integrated network of services and counseling, Family & Children’s Association provides help and hope to under-served and disadvantaged individuals struggling to build better lives. The agency offers Addiction Treatment and Behavioral Health Services; Educational Opportunities and Life Skills for Youth; Strategies for Building Family Success; Counseling, Services and Support for Adults and Seniors; Shelter and Services for Homeless Youth, Adults and Veterans; and Innovative Approaches to Strengthening Communities.

Family & Children’s Association has been nationally recognized as a model of excellence, fiscally sound, well-managed and possessing an impeccable reputation in providing community-based social services. The agency embraces more than 200 individual volunteers, corporate groups, community groups and sponsors who join together to be part of something bigger than them.

For more information about Family & Children’s Association, visit

About Long Island Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (LICADD)

Long Island Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (LICADD) was formed in 1956 with a mission to educate the general public on the nature of alcoholism, with attention to therapeutic treatment for alcoholics and their families. As LICADD continued growing, they implemented a wider array of services from relapse prevention, family-based addiction support groups, anger management, and more. LICAAD’s Positive Connections program is designed to help individuals who are HIV positive that are not currently enrolled in substance use or mental health services. The mission behind Positive Connections is to get those in need of these services connected to treatment in an effort to build quality of life and reduce negative outcomes. LICADD is an affiliate of FCA.

For more information about LICADD, visit:

Family & Children’s Association is dedicated to protecting and strengthening Long Island’s most vulnerable children, seniors, families, and communities. We offer assistance to those who are experiencing social, emotional, and economic challenges.

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Client Stories

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      A message to her Friendly Visitor: “I’m calling to wish you, your beautiful daughter and your loving caring mother a Happy Hanukkah.… Read More

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    When John Larrieu was faced with financial challenges in 2014,  he turned to Family & Children’s Association (FCA) to ease the struggles of… Read More

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  • Alejandra: Leaving Home Behind for Safety

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    With her vibrant smile radiating throughout the home she and her late husband first moved into back in 1970, 86 year-old Sadie Lloyd’s… Read More

  • Graduating High School

    The end of school and the beginning of summer brings graduation day for many. Families gather and celebrate yet another milestone as their… Read More

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    Verizon Fios1 Long Island Valentines Day Story: From FCA’s Youngest to our Eldest – Heart and Soul February 2017 brought many smiles to seniors across Nassau County. A… Read More

  • Homeless Teen Fights for Her Future

    While most 17 year olds were thinking about their high school graduation or contemplating which college they will go to in the fall, Jessica* was struggling with… Read More

  • Nursery Co-op Program

    Dear Miss Lynn, I am writing this letter in appreciation of your nursing program at Family and Children’s Association. All of the teachers Lynn Vanderhall, Ana Castillo,… Read More

  • Rent Assistance

    Thank you so much for the assistance on my rent. I was in a rough patch in my life being a single mom with 2 boys. I… Read More

  • SAGE Group

    I was referred to FCA by Kings County Family Court after my arrest for assault with intent to harm and endangering the welfare of a child. I was… Read More

  • Rebuilding Our Family

    We were at a loss of how to deal with our son Branden, a boy we hardly recognized. The good student who laughed easily had become sullen… Read More

  • Set for a Bright Future

    Nachela came to us back in 2011 at the age of 14 because she was suffering from neglect: she was not enrolled in… Read More

  • My Life Matters

    I am the only child of a teenage mother who was diagnosed with bi-polar disorder and schizophrenia. During my childhood I felt depressed,… Read More

  • Keeping My Granddaughter Safe

    My ten-year-old granddaughter Iyona lives with me, and sometimes she wishes she had her mother, father, sister and brother to play with. Her parents are not able… Read More

  • Getting Back to Normal

    After giving birth to my third child, my joy quickly turned to fear when I was told that my new baby would require multiple surgeries to correct… Read More

  • From Foster Child to Grateful Mom

    I was placed in foster care at a very young age. I lived with my first foster family until the age of 10… Read More

  • Saving Our Family

    For my family, the last fourteen weeks have been a rollercoaster ride and not the fun kind. We were at a loss of how to deal with… Read More

  • Fleeing Violence

    In 2006, my family made the difficult decision to leave our home in Iraq because of increasing violence and death threats. We had to leave everything we… Read More

  • Finishing High School

    I promised my daughter that one day I would finish high school and even though I’m 50 years old, I decided it was time to get my… Read More

  • Fighting For My Country

    I was 19 when I became homeless back in 2013. My dad, stepmom and I were fighting so much that they finally asked me to leave their… Read More

  • Back On My Feet

    When I was 70 years old, living alone and dealing with Diabetes, I fell and injured my neck and was placed on a ventilator for six weeks.… Read More

  • A Home Of Our Own

    After years of suffering physical, financial, and emotional abuse from my husband, I finally found the strength to divorce him. After the divorce, however, I was unable… Read More


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