Madison Originals Magazine Madison Originals Magazine February 2012 - Page 17

MadisonOriginalsMagazine.com | 17 pumping money into child welfare,” David says. “It was one of the rst organizations to bring in student psychiatrists to work with people. It was pretty cutting-edge stuff. We were also one of the rst family preservation programs, sending therapists into a home to work with families. It started on the East Coast, then appeared on the West Coast; I suspect [the Family Service Madison program] was the rst of its kind in the Midwest.” Much later, in the late 1980s, Family Service Madison was the wellspring for an even more groundbreaking initiative, the Families and Schools Together (FAST) program. “Dr. Lynn McDonald created the FAST program,” says David. “FAST has been replicated in 28 states, Canada, England—and works with schools closely in all cases. Dr. McDonald was a PhD social worker who found that there’s a connection between families and schools. If families were uninvolved and unstable, the schools their children went to were often failing. She found that Drug Abuse. “We picked up other pieces of the program pieces as we’ve grown—particularly selling our management services: nancial, billing, admin,” says David. “We’re fairly aggressive in looking for new opportunities—very entrepreneurial.” These days, many services coalesce under the same roof at Family Service Madison. if you bring the parents into partnership with the schools, the schools are more successful.” David notes that rates for juvenile delinquency, alcohol and other drug abuse, and school dropouts are signicantly reduced in the context of the FAST program. These days, many services coalesce under the same roof at Family Service Madison. Some of the group’s diverse offerings, particularly its management services, have evolved from a growing need for funds. “Even before I got here, we recognized strategically that government funding was gonna drop,” David says. “You hit the peak, you probably weren’t going to see a rise after that.” As a result, Family Service Madison has been more active in seeking contract management opportunities, such as its involvement with On Belay, a youth program, and PICADA, the Prevention & Intervention Center for Alcohol and Among the organization’s many offerings, some program services are in especially high demand. “We’ve seen more progression with the anti-violence programs,” says David. “Combined with Families in Transition, those are probably the two biggest ones in terms of stafng and resourcing.” Families