History


In her address at our first Annual Meeting in 1956, Lela C. Durand, former Executive Director of Family Service, referred to our organization as “a service designed for and used by the people of Bucks County.” Though the community’s needs and therefore our agency’s services have greatly expanded over time, today, sixty years later, Mrs. Durand’s description of Family Service is still accurate.

Timeline

1953
A small group of Bucks County residents gather to discuss ways to meet the urgent, constantly growing need for a family service agency. At this meeting, a steering committee is selected, and after much hard work, Family Service Association of Bucks County is formed.

The doors open at our two initial locations in Doylestown and Fallsington, Pennsylvania.

1955
We legally incorporate and apply to Family Service Association of America for membership.

1956
Our application is accepted and we become an accredited member of Family Service Association of America.

During our first few years, staff consists of an Executive Director, two case workers, a secretary and a receptionist.

1961
We receive our first grant from the State of Pennsylvania to offer mental health counseling. We begin contracting services with the county government for a medical social work program.

1962
Fee schedules are introduced.

1970s
We begin to negotiate substantial contracts with the county government.

United Way funding, private donations, client fees and county contacts help stabilize our agency.

Services are expanded into Warminster.

1980s
Our programs expand to provide services to older adults.

In response to the AIDS epidemic, our AIDS Program is formed.

1987
We open a new office (our third) in Quakertown.

Audrey J. Tucker is appointed as Executive Director of our agency.

We become licensed by the Pennsylvania Department of Health to provide

Substance Abuse Treatment and Prevention services.

1988
We develop our volunteer program to allow dedicated community members to give their time and talents to assist us with record keeping and general office support.

1989
We partner with the American Red Cross Homeless Shelter to design and implement

Coordinated Social Service Planning for homeless shelter residents.

We develop Project HOPE, a program to prevent child abuse and neglect through workshops provided to parents in Bristol Borough or Township.

We open our fourth office in Bristol.

1990s
Our staff of 60+ provides services from four offices in Langhorne, Bristol, Doylestown and Quakertown.

Our F.A.S.T. (Families and Schools Together) Program is implemented in area school districts. Additionally, school-based services are provided in the Bristol Borough and Bensalem School Districts.

1995
We collaborate with the Bristol Borough School District to provide services to Bristol Borough residents through the Robert M. Kelly Family Center.

1997
The Bucks County Health Improvement Project identified “adolescent problems” as a major area of concern during a 1993-1994 health assessment. This prompted the opening of a Teen Center at the Oxford Valley Mall. We are the Management Agent and coordinator of this initiative.

Our thrift store, Déjà vu Boutique & Collectibles, opens in the summer. We host an open house to mark the opening of Bucks Villa, Inc., a group residence for individuals living with HIV or AIDS. This is the first home of its kind in Bucks County.

2004
Ways to Work program helps low-income families purchase or repair vehicles with federally secured loans.

Case management services are added to our outpatient behavioral health program to ensure that our clients receive both the clinical counseling and the community support needed to meet the challenges of living with mental illness.

Our Board of Directors launches a “Building Better Tomorrows” campaign to raise funds to build a Center for Families that will have the capacity to manage and deliver services to more than 8,000 Bucks County residents annually.

2006
Our new headquarters, the Center for Families, opens in Langhorne.

2007
We are one of only fifteen agencies in the nation to receive a Caring Across Communities: Addressing Mental Health Needs of Diverse Children and Youth grant from the esteemed Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. This three-year grant focuses on immigrant families with students in need of counseling and other support services.

2008
A tobacco dependency component is added to our wellness program as part of our outpatient behavioral health services.

Our Ways to Work program completed its hundredth loan this year. This means one hundred working parents have utilized this program to obtain reliable transportation, establish or improve credit and continue towards economic self-sufficiency.

2010
Our Asperger’s Awareness, Community Education and Support (AACES) Program begins working with young men and women with Autism Spectrum Disorder as they transition into adulthood.

2012
We take over the operation of the Bucks County Homeless Hotline and the Bucks County Emergency Homeless Shelter. As a result, shelter residents now receive intensive case management services.

With the addition of these new programs and the expansion of others, our staff nearly doubles in size from the previous year.

Recognizing the importance of technology in delivering, managing and evaluating our services, we upgrade our computers, provide mobile access to vital databases and select a new Electronic Medical Records platform that will expand opportunities for communication with our clients and other health care providers.

2013
Merge with CONTACT Greater Philadelphia. As a result, we gain new programs:

CONTACT Helpline and Reassurance.

Want to speak with us?

Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255

Need to talk?: 215-355-6000

Housing Link: 1-800-810-4434