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 email@example.com
“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.”
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.”
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 www.familyandchildrens.org.
By Kelly Kass, Senior Writer, Marketing Works
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Mineola, New York, January 22nd, 2018 – Nassau County’s 2018 legislative team is expected to meet with Long Island nonprofit Family & Children’s Association (FCA) for a legislative breakfast on January 26th, 2018. The gathering, to be led by FCA President/CEO Dr. Jeffrey Reynolds, will provide Nassau County legislators with expert insight and a clear vision on how FCA and Nassau County can continue to collaboratively and systemically improve the infrastructure of health and human services across Nassau County, especially as new public officials take office this month.
Invitees include Nassau County Executive Laura Curran, District Attorney Madeline Singas, Acting Police Commissioner Patrick J. Ryder and a host of other Nassau County legislators and new appointees who are taking the time to meet with leading organizations such as FCA to better their understanding of the current issues in Nassau County. FCA earned its longstanding history and reputation of being a leading health and human services organization on Long Island by consistently keeping local government apprised of the latest programs, changes and foresight in the field of health and human services. These gatherings allow for FCA and Nassau County to continue to work together to accomplish goals that will ultimately improve Long Island as a whole.
FCA President/CEO and member of Nassau County Executive Laura Curran’s transition team, Dr. Jeffrey Reynolds, said of the gathering, “FCA welcomes this dialogue with Nassau County’s long-serving and newly elected public officials and looks forward to sharing the incredible work we do on Long Island to combat and resolve the issues Nassau’s communities currently face.” Dr. Reynolds continued, “When it comes to protecting and strengthening the most vulnerable families on Long Island, from our children to our seniors, FCA works day in and day out to ensure the best possible outcomes for all the families we serve. We greatly appreciate the time Nassau County’s legislators are investing to learn more about the community issues we work to resolve and for providing FCA with the opportunity to learn from the County as we look to the future.”
As a leading health and human Services nonprofit, protecting and strengthening over 25,000 vulnerable Long Island families each year, FCA offers:
Learn More About Family & Children’s Association (FCA)
Family & Children’s Association is a not-for-profit agency helping nearly 25,000 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, FCA provides help and hope to under-served and disadvantaged individuals struggling to build better lives. FCA offers Addiction Prevention, Treatment & Recovery Services, Residential Services, Children’s Mental Health Services, Preventive Services and Adult & Senior Services.
FCA 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 FCA, visit www.familyandchildrens.org.