Family and Community Resources, Inc. are dedicated to serving individuals and families whose lives are impacted by trauma, including violence at home, school, or in their community. Stop & Shop has supported this organization through the Community Bag Program.
Tell us about Family and Community Resources.
Family and Community Resources (FCR) has operated since 1968, starting as the Youth Resource Bureau. Then in 1977, we decided to serve the entire family, so we opened a mental health clinic and started providing mental health services.
The mission of FCR is to provide a welcoming, inclusive and safe environment for all trauma survivors, including those impacted by domestic and sexual violence, substance abuse, bereavement and other traumas. We are committed to the communities in which we serve. Our organization values choice, acceptance, hope and dignity to help children and adults along their path to safety, health and well-being. We aim to ensure that a wide range of perspectives, experiences and decision-making abilities have a seat around the table and that all voices are heard. The quest for equity and social justice is long, and challenges may arise. Still, we are dedicated to making that journey in the spirit of continuous learning, listening and improvement.
Our organization values choice, acceptance, hope and dignity to help children and adults along their path to safety, health and well-being.
Family and Community Resources envision healthier communities free from family and community violence. Through our work supporting vulnerable populations, one day, all children and adults will be able to thrive in a safe, just and equitable world.
What services do you provide to the community?
What we set out to do and have achieved is creating a one-stop shop for survivors and their children. Often, the Department of Children and Families (DCF) or the court sends people to multiple places for services, and it becomes overwhelming for survivors, causing them not to do anything. Now, we provide all the necessary services in one place.
FCR provides a mental health clinic for trauma survivors and domestic violence advocacy and support services. These are services that if someone is fleeing domestic violence and they’re in an unsafe situation, we try to connect them with the resources needed to become a well and safe person again for themselves and their children. FCR is funded by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to provide housing and supportive services to individuals and families fleeing domestic violence. Resources provided include rental and utility assistance, transportation and educational assistance, and a myriad of other services.
FCR also has a program called Children Exposed to Domestic Violence. Often there are children in the home when violence occurs, which can leave lasting scars, so we have behavioral health counseling for those children. We have intimate partner abuse education. We work with perpetrators of abuse to help them find healthy ways to deal with their anger and to encourage them to see how they could become better nurturers and providers for their families.
Our organization was one of the first in the state to implement a supervised visitation program. When children are removed from their families because of unsafe situations or substance abuse issues, we offer this program in family-based services and court-ordered visitation services.
Healthy Relationships for Teens is a great program that FCR provides. We get groups of young students from high school, and they go through training to be peer leaders. Then they return to the community and teach other teens about healthy relationships. They learn about boundaries, how to sense if their friend discloses an unsafe situation and what they can do. One of our goals is to stop domestic violence from happening in the first place. Educating students is a great place to start.
Partnerships and collaborations are meaningful in our work; we cannot do this alone. We are partnering with the Plymouth County District Attorney’s office on a new program specifically for children who have been sexually abused. For this program, we will employ and supervise the coordinator of child advocacy services. This program is extensive, and we are honored to be the lead partner in this endeavor.
Our staff is multilingual because we serve diverse communities with services that stretch across Southeastern Massachusetts. Advocates are there to help people in their primary language. We keep going, and as we go, we identify needs and figure out a way to provide. It’s like the little engine that could.
What sets you apart from other nonprofits in your community?
The length of time that Family and Community Services has been in existence is exceptional. This agency has existed since 1968 and has grown as it identifies the needed services. We provide services to the entire family, which sets us apart. A survivor and the offending partner can come to us for assistance. We do all these services separately in individual places, ensuring that all safety mechanisms are in place. The breadth of staff we have who speak different languages and come from different cultures helps us reach out to the community at large.
We provide services to the entire family, which sets us apart.
Tell us a story that illustrates the good work of your organization.
One story that always stands out is about a woman who was in an abusive relationship, and unfortunately, she was subsequently killed by her abusive partner. This meant that her mother became the sole guardian of her two children. This grandmother came to us for support. She utilized several of our programs: the Domestic Violence program, our behavioral health clinic and eventually, our housing program. She only had a tiny apartment and needed a much larger space to take custody of the two children. We found her a bigger apartment and assisted her with rental expenses and initial utility support. She was so overwhelmed by the support that she came and spoke at our annual gala. She talked about how she appreciated all the help the staff had given her and that they were always respectful of her. And now, she is in a safe place with her two grandchildren, who, through our services, are happy and healthy. This is just one of the many stories we hear daily that make our work truly worthwhile.
Being able to help people in this way and meet their needs is so important. Sometimes victims flee without food or clothing, diapers or formula. We have a small pantry to help with those necessities.
Developing our supervised visitation program has also worked its magic and eased survivors’ fear of seeing their offenders or encountering them. Most survivors we work with want their abusive partners to still have contact with their children. Many survivors will say, I need to go back because of my kids; they need to have a relationship with both of their parents. We’ve been able to structure a way to keep both parents connected to their children without putting one of them in danger. We provide neutral drop-offs and pickups and monitored phone calls or Zoom calls. In doing this, hopefully, we can keep victims safe while their kids maintain a good and healthy relationship with both parents.
What is your most outstanding achievement or contribution to the community?
Developing a program where we can meet with a survivor wherever they are is important to our organization. The staff must be flexible – for example, if a survivor is working and their boss lets them have an extra 15 minutes at lunch, staff can meet with them somewhere safe in their workspace or meet with them at Dunkin’ Donuts. Sometimes it’s unsafe for them to come to our building because they fear being followed or tracked. What makes us proud is that our staff can think through these things and develop safety plans for survivors that protect them. Our team is terrific at thinking outside the box.
What do you want people to know about Family and Community Resources?
That we’re here, and our services are free and confidential. We have a 24-hour crisis line that can be reached at 508-583-6498, with staff on call in case there’s an emergency. People should know that we are a place where they can go for help, especially folks in the immigrant community. Individuals can call and know they might not get somebody who knows their language, but the person who quickly calls them back will speak their language.
We have a 24-hour crisis line that can be reached at 508-583-6498, with staff on call in case there’s an emergency.
How are you using the funds raised from the Stop & Shop Community Bag Program?
We use the Stop & Shop Community Bag Program funds for emergency services. Often, survivors need things like transportation, a safe house or a hotel room until we can get them into a shelter, or they need emergency food support. These are all examples of how the funds earned in the Community Bag program are used to help survivors.
Is there anything you’d like to add?
If someone needs our services or is simply interested in helping to support the work that Family and Community Resources do, visit our website at www.fcr-ma.org for help and information. It’s incredible how many individuals contact us for services through our website because they can do it confidentially without being tracked by their abuser.
Published April 10, 2023.