Nicole Francen

Learn about one of our school-based mental health therapists, Nicole Francen.

How should I talk to children about tragedy?

Hurricanes Irma & Jose, the earthquake in Mexico, the shooting in Las Vegas, the truck driver in New York, and the church shooting in Texas – many devastating tragedies have happened in the past few months. It is important to take care of yourself and think about how you feel. Without taking care of ourselves, we are unable to care for others. Also imperative is helping children and adolescents to [...]

Cyberbulling: An Untamable Beast

The internet has the power to change the lives of young ones, allowing creativity, connection to the world, different perspectives, and a new way to access information not available over 30 years ago. However, an unfortunate and dangerous consequence of young people’s presence online is cyberbullying. reports that over 50% of teens were bullied online, 1 out of 3 experienced cyber threats online, and over 25% of teens were bullied on [...]

FSA In The Community - November 2017

Family Service Association of Greater Elgin Area (FSA) values our role in our community. We have been talking about some of the different groups that we belong to and this month is no different. Elgin Human Service Council is a group of Not-for-Profit leaders that gather together with the purpose of collaborating, innovating, educating, advocating, and [...]

FSA In The Community - October 2017

Family Service Association (FSA) is an active member of the Kane County Juvenile Justice Council (JJC). The council was established pursuant to the Juvenile Court Act of 1987 and the purpose is to have ongoing collaboration between agencies and programs to better address juvenile delinquency. Members of the council include agencies that provide substance abuse treatment, juvenile mentoring, pregnancy support [...]

Marla Van Durme

I always wanted to make a difference in children’s lives but never knew where that thought and idea would take me. As a mom of four I took many years off from the work force before deciding it was time to get back in. Family is very important to me and [...]

Making a Difference

Can one person make a difference? Yes they can! Every day a child suffers in silence. Why? Most kids and teens don’t realize that there is help or don’t know who or how to ask. But there are people who want to make a difference and do. In the last fiscal year Family Service Association of Greater Elgin Area had over 1,600 hours of face to face contact with over 3,000 clients. Our staff has [...]

Open Communication Between Families And School

Schools often voice concerns about a student’s behavior and/or poor academic performance. What do we do with that information? Is it a one-time thing or does it happen often? What does the school think should be done? It can be hard to know what to do when there are so many unanswered questions and not enough information or understanding about how to help. [...]

Social Media And Our Mental Health

Whether you like it or not, social media appears not to be going anywhere anytime soon. But what sort of impact is it having upon our mental health?
For as much good as social media can do, there are also pitfalls to be aware of. If it is making you feel angry, jealous, or disconnected from others, you likely need to take a step back. Taking a digital detox [...]

Christine Richmond

Hi! My name is Christine Richmond. I am the Administrative Assistant to the business office. On September 23rd I will be celebrating 21 years with Family Service Association of greater Elgin Area. I first chose to work at FSA because [...]

Let's talk about suicide

Suicide is usually a difficult subject for those struggling with suicidal thoughts or know someone who is. The topic is often met with stigmas and myths that prevent people from seeking the care they need. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as reported [...]


Difficult situations or unpleasant experiences can leave you thinking there must be another way and everyone needs to know about this. This is the start of advocacy, a process of influencing change within a society. The strongest advocates of our society have either witnessed or [...]

Family Activities

For some, answering the unavoidable question, "what did you do this summer" is an initiation to Fall and a reminder of some of the wonderful experiences you have had over the Summer months. Summer is nearing its end and the beginning of the school year is here! [...]

Maha Ayesh

My job role at Family Service Association is recognized as the Mental Health Juvenile Justice Liaison. As a MHJJ Liaison, I advocate for juveniles in the surrounding Kane County Area. The role offers juvenile justice and mental health services to youth ages 11-18 years old who are at risk of [...]

Sleep and mental health

SLEEP, a simple five letter word, yet a vital activity that allows us to function at our best during the day, be productive, and think clearly. Studying the consequences of sleep deprivation is certainly not new. In fact, the first study in this area dates back to1896! Although getting enough sleep is common knowledge as how important it is to eat our veggies, it’s an area many of us struggle with! The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention discovered that [...]

Janeth Barba

I am the Director of Crisis Services in which I oversee the Screening Assessment and Support Services Program and the Mental Health Juvenile Justice program. [...]

Farewell to a great leader

On June 29, 2017 the world lost a great social worker, colleague, boss, and advocate. Lisa La Forge was a force to be reckoned with in her tireless advocacy for appropriate and comprehensive child and adolescent mental health services. She was integral in starting the SASS (Screening, Assessment, and Support) Program that now provides about 1800 crisis assessments a year through FSA. She started the [...]

School-based mental health program

Family Service Association’s re-vamped School-Based Mental Health Program (SBMH) brings the concept of family counselling to a whole new level. Originating in 2005, through the vision of Lisa LaForge, some FSA therapists began working with students in 6 local schools to reduce the stigma of coming to an outpatient clinic [...]

Earl Evangelista

I am the Coordinator for the Family Support Services Program. This program is a community based therapeutic mentoring program. Staff in this program meet with clients in the homes and community to help them practice and build on the life skills they are learning in therapy. [...]

Culture and Diversity

Culture and diversity are tough and complex subjects to talk about. Our current climate however almost demands that we ask ourselves a few questions about this subject. What does culture and diversity mean to me [...]

Matthew Rodriguez

FSA has given me the opportunity to continue to grow as a behavioral health therapist in a very nurturing environment. From my first interview to this day, EVERYONE has been so friendly and helpful. Our office has [...]

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