Family Connections

High angle portrait of people sitting in circle during therapy session in support group

Far too many people and families in New Jersy communities struggle with serious challenges—from trauma and mental illness to addiction, domestic violence, and child abuse. 

Family Connections (FC) is here to make sure no one has to face these challenges alone. They deliver a wide range of services across Northern New Jersey, including:

  • Counseling
  • Prevention and training
  • Family bonding
  • Family reunification
  • Social-emotional skills-building

The highly-trained staff is committed to excellence, bringing their many skills and big hearts to work every day – not only in their offices, but on-site in schools and directly in the home. They work with people as they define their own needs, goals, and plans for better lives so that thousands of children, teens, mothers, fathers, veterans, seniors, and others can heal and succeed in school, work, and life.

Teen Impacted by Family Connections

New Jersey teenager Ava reflects on the changes she’s experienced since attending Family Connections’ Outpatient Counseling and Outreach to At-Risk Youth:

“In 6th grade, my great-grandfather died. I was acting out, getting suspended, getting into a lot of stuff, and not talking about what was going on inside me. I kept it all inside.

I’m a very emotional person and my counselors at Family Connections helped me understand my feelings. I don’t break down like I used to. I learned to express myself through talking and writing poetry and not through getting into trouble.

Now I have confidence in myself and I’m doing better in school. I’m a strong person after all I’ve been through. If Family Connections didn’t turn me around and help me find my strength, I’d probably be in big trouble now.”

When asked what advice she’d give to other young people who are struggling, she said: 

“Kids should know: You’re not alone. You need to talk to someone who listens and makes you happy. And express how you feel. If you draw, then draw. If you sing, then sing.”

Data-Driven Results

Ava is one of many NJ residents who have been introduced to life-changing resources through Family Connections. 

Data has shown success in every single area measured. Here’s a quick snapshot:

Family Connections ProgramMeasurement GoalActual
Clean and Cool (adolescent substance abuse treatment andlife skills training):Participating youth will have no new reports of high-risk/criminal behavior
Clean and Cool:Youth who attend at least three sessions will achieve abstinence.75%97%
OTARY (Outreach to At-Risk Youth)Participating youth will have no new reports of high-risk/criminal behavior.80%81%
DREAMS Program for children exposed to domestic violenceParticipating children will show improved emotional, cognitive, and behavioral functioning.70%90%
DREAMS:Participating families will demonstrate improved family bonding and communications.70%100%

These statistics are impressive, but Family Connections has another way to summarize the success of the individuals who participate in their 35 programs:

One human being at a time.

Make ONE DONATION to the Holiday Fund and support 10 life-changing organizations in New Jersey.

Increasing Impact

In the past decade, the number of people participating in Family Connections’ services has quadrupled to more than 4,000 per year. Family Connections rigorously tracks data across programs, measuring both the soft and hard impact of the work. They are:

  • Decreasing child abuse, drug abuse, domestic violence, and homelessness
  • Increasing social and coping skills, school success, employability and family bonding

Family Connections History

Family Connections started in 1879 as the Orange Registry Society. They loaned out horses and wagons from our stable and offered volunteers and food to families who’d fallen on hard times. After 140 years, one merger, and a couple of name changes, they are still in the business of making hope possible by supporting neighbors in need and strengthening communities.

Family Connections’ Mission and Vision

Growth happens every day at FC. With counseling, skills-building, training and prevention services, people take control of their own healing and foster connections that make the entire community stronger, safer, and healthier.

Family Connections see a world where no one faces life’s challenges alone—where we all have the opportunities, connections, and resources we need to thrive.

Core Values

We are inclusive.

FC honors the diverse backgrounds of the people they work with, centering everything on their identities and lived experiences⁠ — across race, gender identity, economic status, sexual orientation, religion, education, disability, age, and more.

We are strengths-based.

Everyone has inherent strengths. By identifying and building on those strengths, clients create their own paths to wellness and success.

We are relationship-driven.

FC believes that connections—whether to family, friends, or community—are the foundation for the physical, emotional, and psychological health of every person.

We are outcome-oriented.

FC pursues positive outcomes for clients and are committed to research-based approaches with proven records of success.

We are collaborative.

FC believes that we are at our best when we work together, look after one another, and foster partnerships across sectors to give our greatest to the people around us.

Make a Difference By Volunteering 

Volunteering can be as simple as re-posting Family Connections news to your social media feed, as hands-on as becoming a homework helper at a school-based program, or as skill-specific as helping with finances and human resources. 

Get details on the Family Connections page

Since 1879, Family Connections has proven that communities thrive when everyone is invested in each other’s well being. When you connect with them, you’re building a stronger, safer, and healthier New Jersey.  

Learn more about the impact they’re making in New Jersey on the Family Connections website.

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