Children center

Stories for Good: Family & Children’s Center Continues Legacy of Caring for Area Families | Local

By Ellen Hongerholt for the Daily News

The history of the Family & Children’s Center (FCC) in Minnesota dates back to the 1880s with the Margaret Simpson Home in Winona, which served orphaned children.

In 2006, the care legacy grew with the merger of Family Service of Winona. In 1999, FCC provided its first service to Winona at the request of the area school district to provide alternative education services similar to the model already provided to La Crosse.

The old Winona Daily News building on Franklin Street was purchased and a fundraising campaign was carried out to secure funding for the new location. Since then, Minnesota services have more than quadrupled in size.

Today, the Family & Children’s Center operates nearly 25 programs, serving more than 3,200 clients in southwestern Wisconsin and southeastern Minnesota. It is the largest social service agency in the region.

Despite being one of five regional locations and seven facilities, Winona’s programs represent one-third of FCC’s total budget of $ 8.5 million.

This shows the great impact of the FCC mission in Winona. The Center for Families and Children works to prevent child abuse, helps people with severe mental illness succeed in the community, finds healthy and stable homes for children whose parents can no longer care for from them and help

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young people with mental illness return to an appropriate developmental path. We believe that helping solve problems where they arise translates into greater long-term success and better individual well-being.

The objectives of our services

FCC seeks to respond as early as possible, tailoring its integrated and proven programs and services to assist children, youth, adults, families and communities in difficulty. Highly efficient and extensive services include:

  • Safe and timely services tailored to the individual needs of each family.
  • Improved parent-child interaction and school readiness.
  • Autonomous caregivers capable of protecting and supporting their children.
  • Fewer psychiatric hospitalizations.
  • Decreased dependence on public assistance and other social services.
  • Increased access to preventive medical care.
  • Healthier, more productive and contributing citizens.

Prevention, early intervention and treatment programs mean that children and youth will have the opportunity to become productive adults. Lives are truly saved. They will have had the security, stability and health necessary to realize their full potential, which in turn means continued success for their future generations.

Ellen Hongerholt is the Major Gifts Manager for the Family & Children’s Center.

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