A nonprofit fusion produces one of the largest nonprofits in South Jersey

Family Service Association of South Jersey will merge into Center for Family Services

By Melissa Riker, The Sun

All good things come in pairs as two nonprofit organizations, Center for Family Services and Family Service Association of South Jersey, will merge to create one of the largest nonprofits in South Jersey.

Center for Family Services was founded in 1920 and has been providing a variety of services to children and families throughout South Jersey ever since. The services include addiction treatment and recovery, community connections, counseling and behavioral health, early childhood education, family support and child assault prevention, safe and supportive housing, victim and trauma services and workforce development.

FSA was founded in 1909, and similarly provides support for behavioral health, strengthening families and communities, safety net services, child welfare advocacy, professional development and a mental health cultural competence training center.

Together, these nonprofit organizations will have a staff of more than 1,000 people and more than 70 programs providing support services. With an operating budget of about $65 million (provided through funding from the state, donations and fundraisers), the merge will allow services to be available to children and families in Atlantic, Burlington, Camden, Cape May, Cumberland, Gloucester, Ocean, and Salem counties, with some statewide services.

The merger has been approved by both organizations and will be effective Oct. 1, where Richard Stagliano will continue to serve as CEO at Center for Family Services after FSA merges into it, and Cindy Herdman-Ivins, president of FSA, will serve as COO alongside Eileen Henderson and Merilee Rutolo to oversee program operations and administrative functions.

By fusing the two organizations, Stagliano expressed his confidence that an increase in size and capacity will correlate with an improvement in quality.

Since Stagliano has been with the organization since 1981, he has seen successful merges throughout his time there, including the previous merge with Family Counseling Service and Reality House in 2000, where he then gained his title of president and CEO.

“Sometimes bringing people together and bringing resources together allows you to have better outcomes and results,” Stagliano said. “We’re proud of the work that we do, and I’m grateful for the staff who work here and for FSA. They’re very special people and they’re very passionate people.”

He stated both organizations bring knowledge to the table, they can share their resources, create a greater sense of geography, and they can use these new benefits to continue to provide the best possible services to the people in the communities they serve.

“The main goal is really to continue to provide the best practices to the people we serve, to continue to expand and bring resources to the communities we serve, to provide good opportunities to our staff who make a commitment and passion in helping others,” Stagliano said. “It’s to make a difference here in South Jersey.”

Visit www.centerffs.org for a full list of services and information on how to get involved.