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November 30, 2009

My Turn: You can get by with a little help from FSA

This week's "My turn" is by Deborah Chicorelli, president of the Family Service Association Board of Directors.

This year marks the 100th anniversary of The Family Service Association (FSA). One hundred years of helping area residents and families meet their needs.

While the definition and look of the American family has undergone a tremendous transformation in the last 100 years, one thing remains true: At various times in our lives we all need assistance.

The services offered at FSA have evolved but have remained true to the mission, "To support individual and family strengths and to assist area residents in meeting their own needs."

What has not changed is the respect that all individuals are offered when they request assistance.

The Family Service Association is at 277 Chestnut St. in Oneonta. The programs offered at FSA include the Clothing Program, Emergency Services Program, Parent Resource Center and training programs.

The Clothing Program includes the clothing room, where gently worn clothing and household goods are recycled and offered to area residents at no charge. The clothing program also sponsors the Back to School Program, which provides children with school supplies.

We also work with the Oneonta Clothing Guild to offer new sneakers, snow pants and boots to children in the Oneonta City School District.

The Emergency Services Program assists with obtaining medications, furniture recycling, hygiene and cleaning supplies, housing-search assistance, use of phones and fax machines and assistance with transportation.

The Emergency Program also coordinates the Thanksgiving Food Basket Project and the Christmas Adopt-a-Family Project. The Parenting Resource Center offers parent and caregiver training programs.

In addition, a library of books and videos on a wide variety of topics related to child development and parenting is available for loan.

The training programs are the Family Development Credential Training, a 12-month program offered to area human service workers to teach the empowerment model of social work, group facilitator training and volunteer training.

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