Welcome to Family Services!
There’s quite a lot packed under the roof here at Family Services of the Merrimack Valley (FSMV). From our Mentoring Programs, our Family Programs, a Mental Health Clinic, Essex County Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA), Samaritans of the Merrimack Valley, and on to our Administrative Offices… there’s a swell of traffic in and out of 430 North Canal Street on any given day. Fielding that flow of clients and colleagues and assorted other visitors to Family Services is our fabulous reception team, headed up by Connie Rascon (pictured left). A smile needs no translating, and that is evidenced daily when visitors enter our lobby and are welcomed with that universal language.
Rascon has been receiving FSMV callers (by telephone and in person) for over three years. Her role managing the reception area involves ongoing multi-tasking and being asked a million questions – often into the early evening hours. Her strategy? “It varies daily,” says she. “But I try to let everyone know where I am in the process of finishing a task – just so they know I am working on it! Even if it’s just to say, ‘I’m still looking into it.’ ” As that first impression our visitors have of Family Services, she and her colleagues go out of their way to try and make them feel comfortable by welcoming them all by name. “I notice a lot of people appreciate that gesture,” shares Connie. Enjoying relaxing music and binge watching Friends on television fuels her in her off hours and helps her to show up with a smile – day in and day out. We appreciate YOU Connie and our entire Family Services team for the difference you make!
Family Services of the Merrimack Valley, a non-profit social service agency engaged in game changing work which helps children and families live their BEST lives, was established in 1854 as the Lawrence City Mission. During its first 70 years, the organization was primarily concerned with providing material assistance to newly arrived mill workers in the City of Lawrence. With the advent of the New Deal and the implementation of federal programs in the 1930’s, the organization shifted its mission to align with the national trend in the field of social work which focused on self-improvement and counseling. This shift inspired a name change to reflect its new focus, and the City Mission became Family Service Association of Greater Lawrence (FSAGL). The 1980s brought another significant shift as the organization expanded to provide group programs focused on care and prevention. Since 1985, the organization has grown from a staff of seven to a staff of 80+ providing over 20 treatment, prevention, and outreach and education programs. In 2013, Family Services adopted a new name, Family Services of the Merrimack Valley, which reflects the growth in the scope and reach of its services over its nearly 160-year history.
Our purpose at Family Services is to drive outcomes, and we continue do so by nurturing inner strengths, teaching life skills, championing emotional wellness and providing vital community-based resources in the Merrimack Valley. If you or someone you know would like to be a part of the work we do here, please check out our current employment opportunities on our Job Postings page.