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Encyclopedia of Cleveland History

FAMILY SERVICE ASSN. OF CLEVELAND

FAMILY SERVICE ASSN. OF CLEVELAND

The FAMILY SERVICE ASSN. OF CLEVELAND, established 14 Nov. 1945, evolved directly from Associated Charities Institute of Family Service (see ASSOCIATED CHARITIES). It attempted to improve and preserve family life through financial assistance, counseling (individual, marital, and financial), help with household management, and other services. Unlike its predecessors (Associated Charities, BETHEL UNION, WESTERN SEAMAN'S FRIEND SOCIETY), it provided professional casework rather than direct relief (see WELFARE/RELIEF). Family Service did continue some services, however, such as the Wayfarer's Lodge (est. 1885 by Bethel Union), but it eliminated direct financial assistance in 1956. In its first year the agency assisted 4,888 families. During the 1940s the Family Service Assn. provided homemakers to stand in for absent mothers and, with the CLEVELAND FOUNDATION, started a housekeeping service that enabled the frail elderly to remain at home. It introduced credit counseling in the 1950s. Sources for this work included the Welfare Federation (see FEDERATION FOR COMMUNITY PLANNING), the Community Fund, private donations, and to a much lesser extent, fees for services (on a sliding scale). Family Service Assn. trustees and members of the advisory board included the Rev. FERDINAND Q. BLANCHARD, RUSSELL H. DAVIS, Leonore Schwab Black, Mabel Breckenridge Wason, and Rabbi ABBA HILLEL SILVER, among many others. Life members of Associated Charities continued in that capacity in the new organization. In 1970 the Family Service Assn. merged with other groups to become the CENTER FOR HUMAN SERVICES. Its ideals continued in 1991 in the Center for Human Services Family Preservation Program.


Family Service Assn. Records, WRHS.

Family Service Assn. of Cleveland. Through Changing Years 1884-1949 (n.d. Cleveland Public Library).